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Full text of "Incidents of pioneer days at Guelph and the County of Bruce"

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DAVID KENNEDY, SR. 


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PIONEER DA YS 



INCIDENTS 


OF 


PIONEER DAYS 


AT 


GUELPH 


AND THE COUNTY OF BRUCE 


BY 


DA VID KENNEDY, SR. 


TORONTO: 
1903 



Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in th
 year one 
thousand nine hundred and three, by DAVID KENNEDY, Sr" at the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. 



TO THE READER 


The writer of this book would call 
your attention to three things: first, 
the contents are actual experiences and 
conditions which are in no way colored 
or etnbellished; second that there is no 
pretense to Ii terary excellence, and third, 
that it is written that the reader may 
see the great strides of progress made 
in one generation and not forget the 
pioneer days of our great country. 



\V 
J\S born in the Mansion House 
of Craig, in the Parish of Colo- 
monell, A yrshire, Scotland, upon 
the 20th day of April, in the year 
1828. My father, John Ren- 
ned:v. \vas the youngest son of 
David Kennedy, Laird of Craig, which estate is 
entail. 
l\Iy Inother, Sarah Caldwell, \vas the youngest 
daughter of a large farmer, and ,vas born on the 
Farm of Morriston, in the Parish of Kirks\vald, 
A yrshire. They were married upon the 27th 
day of December, in the year 18 2 5. 
My father and nlother united the names of 
their birth pJaces, and called our homestead in 
the Paisley Block, Guelph, Craigmorriston, in 
,vhich place I resided for about fifty-five years. 


Emigration and Ultimate Settlement at Guelph 
l\Iy father and mother, with my oldest brother, 
Willian1, and ll\yself, emigrated to Canada when 
I was one year old, leaving Scotland in the 
month of April and in the year 1829, and after a 
long and tedious voyage in a small vessel, ar- 
rived in 
lontreal during the SUlnnler. Thly 
7 



father did not like the appearance of the coun- 
try and thought of returning to Scotland at 
once, and going as far do\vn the St. La\VTenCe 
Ri ver as the town of Berthier, remained there 
during the winter, and while staying there heard 
very favorable accounts of the Canada Company 
lands around Guelph. This caused hitn to 
change his mind, and in the spring of 1830 he 
again turned his face \vest\vard, and after a slo\v 
journey, arrived at Guelph during the sumlner. 
Guelph at that tiIne was nearly all forest, and 
had only a few log houses, for it had only been 
surveyed in the spring of 1827. 
J\Iy father, after a short residence at Guelph, 
selected a lot in what was after\vards known as 
the Paisley Block, in Guelph To\ynship, near 
what is no\v the City of Guelpli. My father 
never had much experience in the way of lahor, 
and especially in clearing up of land, so that 
very little progress was Inade for Inan y years, 
and not until \ve boys began to gro\v up, and 
many and great were the hardships endured at 
that time by my mother and her little boys, for 
nlY brother, John Caldwell, was born during our 
stay in Guelph, in Nov., 1830. As ti1ne passed 
on, the number of the family incre.ased to ninc. 
the five oldest being boys and the four YOlUngest 
girls. All grew up to Inanhood and \vOIUanh0od 
but one little girl. In the course of a fe\v 
years, when we gre\\T up towards manhood, \,.e 
soon put a different face upon things, and in- 
stead of poverty and want there was a cOlnfort- 
able home and plenty. But \Ve could see that 
n 


8 



a short time this home would be Jlluch too SIn all 
for us to renlain much longer upon. 


William and I Journey to Owen Sound and then to 
Southampton 


In the beginning of the yea!.- laSl, and some 
titne after having prepared a comfortable hOJue 
for our parents and the younger children of the 
family, my oldest brother, \Villi am , and I 
thought it to be our duty to start out and try 
to make new homes for ourselves in SOlne part 
of the country. and just about this tiule there 
\vere \vonderfully glo\villg accounts in circulation 
regarding the sui tablelless of the Saug-cen H.i ver 
valley as a farming distri,-
t. 
After seriously considering the l11atter 'Villi aln 
and I concluded that \ye \\
ould try and get there 
and see for ourselves. 
So about the beginning of January, in the year 
1851, \ve drove a horse and light sleigh up to 
O\ven Sound, and, after reaching- there and rest- 
ing a fe\v days \\-ith an old frIend, l\lr. \\Tnl. Cor- 
bet, and obtaining fuller inforulation concerning 
the remaining part of our journey. we proceeded, 
an.d our friend, Mr. Corbet, and a friend of his, 
l\lr. Sparling, accompanied us to the lliouth of 
the Saugeen River. 
So, after making all needful preparations for 
the journey, and securing an Indian as guide, we 
started one afternoon, and went as far as IVlr. 
Jimby's for the night, \\-Those \vas the last and 
only house on the way, and is about five luiles 
fronl Owen Sound village. This we did in order 
!J 



to shorten the distance and make it possible for 
us to get through on the following day, a dis- 
tance then supposed to be about thirty n1Ïles, 
through a dense forest covered with deep sno\v. 
But \ve made an early start the following morn- 
ing, and \vith constant and steady perseverance 
we all managed to reach Southampton before it 
was quite dark. Some of us were very tired and 
nearly used up. But we got a very kind re('ep- 
tion from the fe\v inhabitants that were in that 
place. I do not think that there were more than 
one or two families there. 


Our Stay at and Departure from Southampton 
While in Southampton we stayed with an old 
acquaintance, Mr. George Butchart, formerly of 
Pilkington 1
0\vnship, who, with his brother-in- 
law, IVlr. Orr, were at that time engaged in fish- 
ing. They had erected a log house during the 
preceding fall and although it was by no nleans 
con1pleted as yet, still, Mrs. Butchart, a very 
active lady of very superior appearance, and 
who, I think, was the only white woman in the 
place at that time, did all she could to make us 
all feel as comfortable as possible after our long 
walk through the deep snow. So the next morn- 
ing, Willialn and I, after being advised and In- 
structed as to \vhat direction and course we 
should take, travelled along the lake shore four 
or five miles, until we came to what is now Port 
Elgin, and there we went. back from the lake a 
mile or t'
ro, and were so delighted and satisfied 
wi th the appearance of the timber and lay of the 
10 



land that we then and there decided to try if 
possible to make future homes for ourselves out 
in this beautiful forest. 
After another hard day's travel we re- 
turned to our kind hostess, Mrs. Butchart, \vho 
soon prepared for us a supply of deliciously 
cooked fresh w hi te fish, which we all greatly re- 
lished after a long fast, and, remaining another 
night there, and getting an early breakfast, we 
started on our return journey to O\ven Sound, 
leaving our Indian guide behind, as he preferred 
to remain at the Indian village where he had 
left us on the \vay over. 
\Ve then bid our present friend a parting adieu, 
hoping all to return some day in the near future, 
for we were all so \vell satisfied with \vhat we 
had already seen of the country that \ve wished 
to get back to it. So, in due time, we all reach- 
ed the Sound in safety , only feeling a li t tIe tired 
froln the long journey. Bu t \ve found the return 
journey hI uch easier, owing to the path being 
broken by our tracks across a fe\v days before. 


Our Return to Guelph and Preparations to Return to 
Saugeen 


So, after remaining a day in Owen Sound, we 
again set off on our return journey to Guelph, 
\vhich place \ve also reached in safety.. 
Arri ved there, \ve gave an account of our trav- 
els, and a description of what \ve had seen of the 
country to those who were anxious to know, and 
felt an interest in our future welfare, and, after 
fuller deli1Jeration and consultation \vith inter- 


11 



ested friends, \ve decided to make an early start 
to an almost inaccessible and uninhabited part 
of the country, which at that time was an un- 
broken forest for many miles, and in a great 
measure entirely cut oil froln outside cotnl11uni- 
cation. The country was not yet surveyed, and 
the few that were at the mouth of the Saugeen 
River had gone there by boat on the lake for the 
purpose of carrying on the fishing, \vhich. at that 
time and for many years was and still continues 
an important industry. But as there was no rea- 
sonable way of reaching this place but by water, 
1t looked nlore like foolishness than common 
sense to attempt such an undertaking. Neverthe- 
less \ve had resolved to make the attelnpt, and 
\vere joined in and encouraged by two of our 
near neighbors, young men, like ourselves. We 
had been raised alongside of each other, upon ad- 
joining farms, and our intimacy was of the most 
friendly kind, so, when \ve decided to try our 
fort'unes in these new quarters, they resolved to 
accompany us, and began making immediate pre- 
parations for doing so, as they did not care to 
remain behind after we had gone. After com- 
pleting further arrangements, we engaged a col- 
ored man, a l\Ir. John Taylor, who at that time 
had a good yoke of oxen and new wagon, and I 
also had a yoke' of cattle, which I \vished to 
take up with us. So \ve hitched them to the wag-- 
on, and then put the other yoke in front, as they 
\vere better broken to work, and so Mr. Taylor 
drove the tandem team, 'and amongst us we 
managed to fill the \vagon up pretty full \vith 
boxes, bedding, bundles, cook-stove, and other 
12 



odds and ends that we thought would come use- 
ful in the settlemen t of a new home in the 
woods. Besides we took with us a limited sup- 
ply of provisions and groceries, and such tools 
as were indispensable in a new country. Upon 
the whole the load was not of much value, but 
very useful for us to possess. 


Our Start for the New Country 
So, upon the 25th day of March, in the year 
1851, one fine morning, for this was an extreme- 
ly mild and early spring, for the snow was near- 
ly all gone, although the frost was still in the 
ground and wheeling 'vas fairly good, upon this 
eventful morning, my brother \Villiam and I, 
with our neighbor, Samuel Strowger, and our 
colored Jehu, started on our journey of migra- 
tion, Philip Strowger having been detained on 
business one day behind the others. The roads 
being fairly good, we reached Fergus the first 
night, and while staying there we met with a 
young man called 1
homas Burgess, \vho said 
that he came from Peel County, and was on his 
way to Owen Sound or some other part of the 
country in search of his fortune, and as soon as 
he heard that we were going to the mouth of the 
Saugeen River he at once decided to cast in his 
lot and accompany us, and so afterwards stuck 
closely to us and became a partaker in all our 
hardshi ps and sufferings for the time being, and I 
understand that he afterwards became a settled 
resident of the place, and, being by trade a coop- 
er, he found plenty of employment in the making- 
of fish barrels. 


13 



On the morning of the second day we left 
Fergus in good time, and succeeded in getting as 
far as the Township of Arthur that .night, and 
putting up at a wayside inn. We made an early 
start the next morning, and after driving a mile 
or two we halted to cook some breakfast by the 
roadside, \vhere there was some \vood. 


Our Journey Continued, Whiskey Incident 
While here we were nearly having a tragedy of 
a very serious k
nd enacted, for during our stay 
in Fergus our colored teamster had purchased 
for his own use a jug of \vhiskey, and sometime 
during the previous afternoon he was refreshing- 
himself from this jug, and then asked our friend 
Sam to take a little also. This offer \vas wil- 
lingly accepted. This really was Sam's weakest 
spot, for all the rest of our present party were 
strictly temperate in their habits. 
And as Mr. Taylor had brought a small chest 
along with him in the wagon to h.old his provis- 
ions during the journey, he also p.ut this whiskey 
jug in to it and then securely locked it up for the 
night, and how great was his surprise and in- 
dignation, when he got up upon the wagon for 
his provisions, to find the lock broken and his 
whiskey jug empty. He at once accused Sam of 
being the guilty party and of having broken the 
] odk and drunk all his whiskey. S am as vigor- 
ously denied the charge, at the same time using 
uncomplimentary language to the colored man, 
which caused him to get himself into a most un- 
controllable passion. His eyes shone like two 
14 



balls of fire, he foamed at the mouth, and he 
had a voice like a lion, and as he \vas a power- 
fully strong man he would soon have made an 
end of Sam had he got hold of hitl1. 
But my brother and I got bet\veen theln and 
used all our persuasive powers to prevent what 
might have ended very seriously if \ve had not 
managed to keep Sam out of his reach until we 
got him taken away out of his sight. While 
speaking of OUT friend) Mr. Sam, here, I may 
say that he belonged to a fine, large English 
family, comprising eleven in number, and they 
,vere supposed to be rather aristocratic in their 
tenrlencies, and consisted of six verv handsome 
young ladies, who all grew up and afterwards 
\vere all comfortably married. The other five 
were boys, of \vhich Philip \vas the eldest, and 
our hero, Sam, the second. He was always a 
great lover of horses, and was much in the pub- 
lic, and there learned to indulge too freely in the 
use of that which afterwards became his master. 
Our Journey Up Continued and Terminated on the 
6th Day 
So, upon the third day of our travels we 
reached before evening Mr. Thos. Smith's hotel, 
in Egermont, which is a short distance past 
\vhat is now l\iount Forest town, but which at 
that time was. all forest, as there was not a 
house in sight, and while remaining at this ho- 
tel \ve \vere overtaken by IVlr. Philip Strowger, 
which made our party up to five in number, ex- 
clu
ive of l\Ir. Taylor, \vho by this titne had re- 
turned to his usual mode of temper. 
15 



And upon the fourth day, evening, we arrived 
safely at Mr. H
unter's hotel, in the village of 
Durham, remaining there for the night, and \vhile 
there received a great deal of ktindness, and also 
useful information from Mr. Hunter regarding 
the remaining portion of our journey and the 
best \vay to take in order to accomplish our ob- 
ject. He advised us to go down the new line of 
road towards \Valkerton, instead of going by 
way of Owen Sound. This ne\v road Ironl Dur- 
ham nad been cut during the preceding fall, and 
two new bridges were built over the Saugeen 
River. We were ad\vised to stop at the first 
bridge and there make a raft or a scow and frotH 
there go do\vn the river to its mouth. 
After getting- so mu'ch useful information 
from Mr. Hunter, \ve concluded to take his ad- 
vice and carry out his instructions as far as pos- 
sible. I also made suitable arrangements 
with Mr. Hunter to keep my oxen when they re- 
turned after delivering the load at the bridge. 
So, upon the fi.fth day of our travelling \ve start- 
ed to go down the Durham line, which \ve found 
to be a hard road to travel. Night overtook us 
and we had to make a fire of logs by the "Tay- 
side, and there we spent the first night, a taste 
of what we had for several weeks follo\
lillg- to 
pass through. The night was cold and chilly. 
However, about noon 01\ the sixth day we reach- 
ed the bridge and there \ve unloaded the \vagon 
and allowed our colored Jehu to return with 
oxen and wagon, with orders to leave my oxen 
in charge of Mr. Hünter at D'urham until the 


16 



\\'oods \vouìd supply su'flìcicnt to sustain thelll 
with food. 


Our Decision to Make a Scow 


So, having at last reached our present destina- 
tion, ,ve hastened to erect some temporary tent 
or cover as a shelter until \ve had devised the 
way of our further transportation, and after 
SOlne deliberation, \ve all came to the conclusion 
that a good sco,,- \votIld be safer and easier to 
manage than a raft upon such a great, rushing 
river. But the question arose, \vhere are \ve to 
get the lumber to make a SCO\v? There IS 
none nearer than Durhanl, and that cannot be 
thoug-ht of; it is quite out of the question. Sonle 
one sugg-ested that if ,ve could get a sa,\- ,ve . 
cauld find a pine tree and cut the lUll1ber our- 
selves, anò, fortunatel

 for us, just at that tinle 
\\re received a visit from a IVlr. Schuke, ,vho had 
helDed to build the bridges the preceding- season, 
and hE' possessed å sa,y and other tools requisite 
for the In aking of a sco\\
, so ,ve engaged hin1 to 
assist us in the undertaking-, \\"h1ch he yery 
readilv consented to do. 
Re had ren10\Teld \vith his fal11Ïly into the 
To,,-nship of Rlntik the preceding- season and 
settled a short distance froIH ,,-here 've had un- 
loaded our "'agoB, cUld ".hich is nO\\T near Oil" in 
the \"i l1agc of II anover. 
So, \Vc .selected a large pine SOllIe distance 
frOln the hridge and in a thick S,,-all1p covered 
:-:everal feet deep ,vith ""atcr and SBO" slush, 
making- it Yery c1ifììcnlt of access, dud hard to 


17 



reach. But for all that \ve got at it and had the 
tree skilfully cut do\vn upon supports high en- 
ough to enable the sa\vyers to do their \vork 
tnore perfectly, and it did not take very long 
time for us to get all the Inaterial cut and 
ready for the Inaking of a SCO\v. 
But the next, and greatest difficulty of all, 
was to 
ct this lumber to \vhere it could be 
Inade up, and then c.onvenientlv launched into. 
the river. The planks \vere green and he
vy, 
they. \vere 1110re than th
rty feet in length. t\VO 
lnches thick and eig-hteen inches wide. 


Our Continuation and Workshop at the Bridge 


You InRV Üna,g-ille that it \vas no slnall job to 

arrv these heavy, long tÜnbers such a distance, 
and through such a thicket, covered \vith slush 
Md \vater. HO\\Teyer, hv persistent toil and con- 
stant perseverance, it \vas accolnplished in tiIne 
and ,vithout accident, and in a short tinle the 
sco,,' ,,'as set up and completed, after causing us 
to make several trips to Durluun for nails and 
other needed supplies. And to add to our trials 
and disappointluents, by the titne \ve got our 
SCO\\y completed the river, from the effects of 
heavy rains anrl 111elting snow, had risen to 
such height that \ve found ourselves shut in Upp1ll 
a. slnall piece of hiKh laud at the end of tpe 
bridge, \vhere our stuff \vas placed I and \ve \vere 
surrounded by \vater from three to five feet deep,. 
so. that our condition \vas anything but an envi- 
able .one, and still worse than all, \ve \vere in- 
lormed that the ,vater \vas so high that "\\re coltùd 


18 



not p;ass unrler the bridge at \\7 alkerton, although 
it had been built twenty feet above lo\v ,vater, 
so vO'U may imagine how g-reatly s\vollen the 
river had become. 
A.nd I can assure yOU that \ve had all become 
heartily sick and tired of this place and its sur- 
roundings. We had no shelter fronl ,vet or cold, 
day or night, nothing but a continuance of wet 
clothes and wet feet all the titue for over t\VO 
\\-eeks. That \ve \vere cOlnpelled t.o relnain in 
this miserable, comfortless abode, \vhere \ve \vere 
exposed to the inclen1ency of the \veather at this 
chang-eable season of the year, and \vhen I tell 
yOU that \ye had neither bed, table nor chair, 
cup, saucer nor plate, knife nor fork, and we never 
had our clothes off during- all this titne, and for 
several \veeks after\vards. .A..nd vou \vill not be 
surp;rised \vhen I tell \TOU that we often \vished 
that we had never left our homes of cOlnfort and 
plenty to endure such inexpressible hardslrips. 
Our food consisted of fried pork, boiled potatoes, 
scones made frotH flour, Inixed \vith cold wa'ter, 
and a little saleratns and salt, baked in a frying 
pan over coals, and sometimes a drink of hem- 
lock tea, and \ve had always'to use our jack- 
knives to cut our pork \vith and a sconc for a 
plate, so I can assure you that in a few 
\vee ks we did not look a very spicy looking 
crowd, but quite the opposite. Nevertheless our 
numbers continued to increase. There were 
nlan,v from all parts coming in looking for land, 
and stop,ping- at Durham on their way up, heard 
of OUI making a scow, and they were advised to 
COlne down to us and try if we would not take 
19 



them do"v"n the river with us Qn our SCO\v. \\' e 
had five in our o\vn COIUpany, and were join'ed by 
three, Messrs Martindale from New Brunswick, a 
father and t\VO sons, an'.d there \vere also two 
brothers, John and Jake Atkinson, fronl some- 
,,-here near Toronto, and a Mr. Boyle and an- 
other whose name I have forgotten. Altogether 
there were t,velve of us awaiting the lo\vering 
of the waters in tI1e river. SOll1e of these parties 
had g,one back to Dur hall1 and some \ven t do\vn 
to Mr. Walker's, all to be in readiness to start so 
soon as the \vater got lo\v enough to allow of 
us passing- under the bridge at \Valkerton, \vhich 
,,'e hoped v;e \vould be able to accomplish In a 
fe\v da vs' tin1e. 


Our Departure Down the River 



-\nd u1pon the first Monday \ve got our scow 
loa j ded up and ready to start upon the Tuesday 
morning. Leaving this comfortless and inhospi t- 
æble place early in the morning, we started dOMrn 
the roaring riyer, an
 we had not gone very far 
when Ìt cOlumenced to rain, and we soon got 
\vell soaked. I-Io\vever, \ve \vere becoming we 11 
accustomed to such things and did not mind it 
nluch, so anxious \V'ere we to proceed for\vard on 
our journey, and before starting \\'e had set up 
the coo'k-stove in the SCO\v and put a length or 
t\VO of pipe on and made our fire in in1itati011 
of a stean1 boat, and \ve had ro\v locks and pad- 
dles for oars, besides a long s\veep behind to 
steer the SCO\v. This sweep or heln1 was twelve 
feet Iong-. and had great po\ver in the steering of 


:W 



the scow, and \ve ""ere greatly assisted by the 
lVlessrs. lVlartindale, \vho \vere accustomed to 
rlyer navigation \vhere they caU1e fronl, in the 
lo"Ter province, so, \vhile pfk,-;sing do.\vn the 
crooked and s\vi[t f1o\ving river, about noon \ve 
sa"T the 1Ìrst little clearing. and having brought 
with us the lon
 tin dinner horn ,or trumpet, we 
cOlumenced blo,,-ing in Ï111itation. of a steamboat 
\\"histle, \v hen 1\lr. .J osep
þ' \Y alker, the founder of 
the now pretty to,,-n of \Valkerton, and the oth- 
er male inhabitants of the place, came running 
to the river's edge, cheering runt1 \vaving their 
hats in thp air, and so g-reat was the tun1ult and 
noise of cheering and blo"ring the horn that 
those pulling at the oars did not hear the in- 
structions 
iven hy the Ulan at the hehu to pull 
hard on their oars, hut thought that he \vanted 
them 10 desist ro\ving-, and the SCO\v at that 
time \Vas heac1e(l in for the shore. The s\vift 
current soon got a side s\veep npon her and sent 
her round ahout at great speed, just l11issing 
one of the piers of the bridge by a fe\,- inches. 
\Ye had a very narro\,'" escape froll1 utter de- 
stnlction, for if "-e had struck the pier our scow 
and all upon her \vould hav
 suddenly been 
dashed to pieces anti lost, the current \v.as so 
yerv s\vift and the \vater so deep that escape 
\\"ould ha\ e heen almost illlpossihle, and those 
on shore ,,-ho sa\v the occu,rrence became pale 
\\-ith fea.r, and \\T all got a g-reat fright. But 
lortnnateh- \ve all escaped being s\vept ofi by 
the sudden swcep, and after receiving on hoard 
the re1l1aining- paSSCll
ers and getting a slllall 
supply of potatoes and flonr \ve \\'ere soon again 
:!1 



on our rapid course do\vn the river. But \\
e 
had not passed far from under the bridg,e \vhen 
we algain \vere nearly having another narro\\- es- 
cape. So. high \vas the water and s\vift the cur- 
rent at that time, 3jl1d as there \vas a small is- 
land near the bridge, and upon it there was a 
large bent cedar tree, leaning over the deep \Va- 
ter only a few feet from its surface, and under 
this tree the s\vift current seelued to dra\v us, 
so that it required all our skill and efforts to 
be put forth to prevent ourselves and everything 
upon the scow being cotupletely s.\vept off in,to 
the water. It \vas a110ther h
airbreadth escape. 
The weather by this time had changed from 
the \varm, \vet morning, for it had cleared up 
no\v, and had becolne cold and \\-indy, which 
caused our \vet garments to make us feel rather 
uncomfortable. and \ve suf1ered; more or less from 
the cold. But \ve continued to proceed do\vn the 
riyer \vithout meeting \vith any serious luishaps, 
and towards evening we ran oÜr SCOW" in to the 
shore and tied her up fast to a tree f.or the 
night. 
An(l then looking for the best place to spend 
the night, \ve took shelter under a large tree. 
We soon lnac1e a fire and prepared wood for the 
night and some hemlock branches to lay do,,-n 
.upon, and as I \vas apiOointed to be chief cook 
am.d butler for the time bein
 I had a yerv busy 
time in preparing: foo.d for so many. I had three 
frying pans in use, some fryil1
 pork and t\VO 
baking scones, \vhich I made by filling: a large 
pan with flour and then putting- in a little salt 
and a snlall quantitv of saleratus, and after this 
22 



mixing- \\lith cold \\-ater until it heCall1e a stili 
dou..g-h, and then pressing it into a frying- pan, 
and if the pan had been lately used for trying- 
pork that Inade the scone taste all the better. 
But whether they tasted g-ood or not they \vere 
in great demand, and it seems astonishing- the 
quantity it required to supplv the ,,-ants of a 
dozen very hungry luen, and I could not provide 
the victuals fast enough to keep them all eng-ag-- 
ed at one titne in eating-, and it took a long titue 
hefore all \vere sati"s1ìed, 


Our First Night Out on the Voyage 


So. after the app
tites of aIr htad been satistìcd 
\vith eating-, the next important business \,-ith 
the majoritv of those present \vas to fill their 
pipes, ,vhen smoking- becalne the order of th
 
evening, and after\vards the telling of anecdotes 
and stories occupied the greater part of their 
titne. I \vould say just here that although luan\" 
of our C0111panY ""ere ahnost entire strangers to 
lath other, yet our intercourse and treatnlent 01 
each other was of the kindliest and lnost consid- 
erate nature. Perhaps our fe110wship in sufferin
 
IUav have had sOlnething to do in the matter, 
and we are brought to feel our gTeater depend- 
ence upon each other. Such has generally been 
the <:a'e in ne\vlv-settled C0111nIunities. To re- 
turn to our story, as the evening- passed on, 
(lro\V'sine
s took po
.se
sion of the speakers, \vhen 
",-e'aried nature had to g-iye in, and sleep gained 
the ascendancy and silence prevailed. Yet the fire 
1 equired frequ('nt attention, o\ving- to the nigbt 


:!:
 



being so cold and \vindy, and SOllle little tÍ1ne 
before daylight \ve had a thick fall of snow, 
\yhich soon co\"ered the unprotected sleepers to 
some depth, but the sleepers continued to enjoy 
their peaceful repose, seelningh
 quite uncon,scious 
of their unpleasant condition. But such are SOll1e 
of the varieties of life, and I felt tempted to s
, 
great is the po\\'er of endurance. Then I Rot up 
and made on a g-oo'd fire and prepared a good 
pot of potatoes, to be ready for breakfast, and I 
got SOlile hemlock to lnake hot tea, baked more 

akes or scones, and fried pork. So I soon had 
hreakfast read\
, and \ve all took a g-ood drink of 
hot henI10ck tea, as it \vas considered a good 
preyentive of colds, and we no doubt stood in 
need of s0111ethin,g d.f that kind, after such severe 
exposure. 


Our Second Day on the Water, Past Paisley 


So upon this Wednesday 1110rnillg- we again 
un tied our SCO\V and all got aboard, and we 
tnade an early start down the ríver, and we had 
not g-one very far before we sa\v the first appear- 
ance of ci ,'ilization; there \vere SOllie lately cut 
trees near the ri\Ter banks and a newly-built 

hanty, and \ve fOlUld the occupant to be Mr 
Simeon Orchard, the very first settler and foun- 
der of \,,-hat is no\v the busy to\vn of Paisley, 
and just \"here the Mujd or 1'aY l
iver enters the 
Saug-een. 
L\.fter a short stay with l\Ir. Orchard 
\ve a
aln pursued our journey do\vn \vhat was, to 
all of us, quite unkno\vn regions, and not know- 
ing what lav hefore us on our ''lay dO\\Tn thi
 


:!..J 



g:Teat, crooked, rapid running- river, \,. hich it \vas 
in those days, and the thoug-ht frequently occur- 
red to us that \ve were the first party of white 
tHen that eyer were kno\vn to pass safel
r down 
this river. 
A.nd so, about noon \ve Cal1le to a beautiful 
level beach, very heavily tÏtnbered \vith fine 
lar,g-e maples like an extensive sugar bush. Here 
\\-e \vent ashore to Ret SOlne dinner ready, 
and also for the purpose of exploration, and so 
greatly ,,'ere we pleased ".ith the appearance of 
the land that \ve \vould have liked to locate 
there had ,ve kno\vn anything- of our \vhere- 
abouts, So, after g-etting- SOll1e dinner, \ve again 
g-ot aboard and continued our passage do\vn till 
aoout the middle of the afternoon \vhen \ve again 
observed SOlne ne\vlv cut trees, the first since 
leaving- Paisley. We iUl1uediately nlade prepar- 
atio'ns to salute and got our long horn and con1- 
lllenced sounding- it, and no sooner had \ve done 
"0 than \ve sa\,' two l11en cOining- running- to- 
\"ards us, wavi
g- their hats and arlllS in th
 
air and l'heering aJlò beckoning- us to run our 
SCO\\- int.o shore, 


Our Arrival Down Near the Lake 


A.nd \vhen "oe did![o ashore, ho,,- g-reat \vas I 
our surprise anò delig-ht to lueet \,dth an old 
acquaintance froBl the To,,-nshi p of Pilkington! 
_\1r. Alexander Wallace, ,,-ith his frienël, 

Vlr. J allies Cathay, the teacher or luissionar\' to 
the Indians at their villag<.' near the lnouth of 
the Saug-e'en Ri\Tl'r. lIe was Ol1e of the t".o first 


:!.-, 



\vhite 1uen in this p:art of the country .in 184
L 
The other one \vas the Rev. l\lr. \Villiston, In- 
dian n1issionary. Mr. Wallace had arrived 
and located himself here la fe\v days previously, 
and had lVlr. Cathay assisting h
tn to get a house 
built; after introductory explanations we re- 
cei\
ed some desirable and useful information re- 
garding the locality, anjd \vere told that we were 
only about three miles distant froln the lake, 
aJ1.d about t\velve fronl the mouth of the river, 
as the river an(l lake run nearly parallel with 
each other for SOlne ,distance. So, after obtaining: 
this inforillation ,,
e secured our SCO\V to a newly 
(ut stump, and started in the way that \ve \vere 
directed to have a look at the great Lake H ur- 
on. So \ve passed do\vn through a fine timbered 
farlning land and \vhat is no"T the pretty village 
of Port Elgin, and there for the first time most 
of us took a look at the great lake. RetlI
ning 
by the sanle track, \ve all greatlv admired t1;1e 
a'ppearance of the forest that \ve had passed 
through. 
So, returning to our SCO\\-, \ve Inade prepara- 
tions for suprer and a place to lodge in during 
the ni.ght, as it \vas ag-ain turning rather cold, 
and our ne\vly-found friends had only a shed 
made of log:s (jt1 three sides and open at the 
front, "There they had a fire nlade of logs, \vith 
some brush to lay upon, but the win,d \vas blo"""
- 
ing strongly from the fire into the shed, filling 
the place \vith smoke and ashes, which made the 
place most unendurable and we could not stay 
there any longer, and \ve had to get out and 
make some other kind of shelter for ourselves, 



6 



. 


and g-athering- sorne boug-hs \ve tried to erect a 
kind of break-\vind, but for all that we put in a 
mi
erable, disagreeahh
 night, suffering much 
from the cold wind. 


Second Night and Philip Selects His Home With 
Mr. Wallace on River Bank 


I'his caused son1e of us to deplore our condi- 
tion and grieve over the folly o.f our coming to 
such a place. But in due tiIne n10rning came 
and \"ith it a bright sun and warmer day, and 
after replenishing ourselves again \vith break- 
fast and taking further counsel with those of our 
party \vho were desirous of selecting homesteads, 
\\-e acted. upon the advice of our new 
friends, \yho advised us to cross over the river 
to the other side, as the land \vas reported to be 
even better than on this side. And in11nerliately 
a. ting upon such ad\Tice ,,-e ag-ain boarded our 
scow and. pulled for the other side, and. soon 
Ia11lded a
ain up/on a beautiful, large river flat, 
\\ here we ag-ain tied up the SCO\v and at once 
started upon a tour of inspection, and going 
do\\-n the river quite a distance vie\ving the land. 
Those that "\vere not so anxious to secure farm- 
ing lands proceeded do\vn towards ... the Indian 
,,-ill age , and thus to the mouth of the river, while 
the rell1ainder of our party returned to our scow 
and at once cOlntnenced to erect some ten1porary 
shelter for the night and prepare food, for we 
\vere all very hung-rv. Travelling over the virgin 
soil seenled to be a great appcti7er for ,ve were 
ahvavs hungry. 


'!.ï 



The follo\ving- lllorning Philip Stro\yg-er select.- 
ed for a home a fine site u.pon the larg-e flats. 
near where \ve now were and opposite the larg-e 
island in the ri \'er, and we all immediately join- 
ed in to assist hÌ1n in the erection of a small 
hou,se, \vhich he said ,,'ould be a home for us all 
until \ve had provided one for ourselves. So, in 
a short titne \ye h ad one up an.d co'vered with 
slabs of bass\:vood, and we soon had it hàbitable, 
and it was even a vast improvenlent upon w
at 
"Te had been lately enjoving-, and we were invit- 
ed to consider this place as our present hOlne. 


Assisted Philip to Build His House 


Philip ,,-as a very expert hand at using an axe 
and a strong- yonng Inau, llle'asuring- near six 
feet four inches in height, and he soon n1anag-ed 
to put things i1nto shape, and then he went with 
us to assist and advise in the selection of farms. 
\Ve generally took long tramps, as we had so 
much to choof;e from and \vere ahvavs looking 
for something better. When we returned in the 
evening- \\Te \vere nearly dead from hunger. So 
\\Te thoug-ht it \vould be better that one of us 
stay at home and have some food pr
pared upon 
our return. So our friend, Mr. Sam, did not 
seem to be as anpdous as SOllIe of the others 
abo,ut choosing a farln for hÜnself, and he \vill- 
ing1v 'Tolunteered to remain arid do the coo1king 
for that day. As we started out that morning- 
Philip as usual \"as carrying his gun. When we 
\vere a fe\v yards fro\1n the house a partridge fle"r 
u;p, and Philip shot it and carried it back to the 


:!
 



haWse and gave it to Sam with orders to h
ve it 
nicely cleaned and made into soup by the time 
we returned, as soup
 would be such a nice change 
after using- so. much salt pork. So we departed, 
leaving San1 to have a nicelv prepared dinner 
re8idv fox us UpOl1 our return. After a long walk 
\vc. returned about four o'clock as hungry as 
hawks, and great was our disappointtnent at 
finding nothing- ready to eat, and there was Sam 
I
Ting- comfortably Upo'11 his back co:ntentedly 
smoking- his pipe, quite at his ease, and when 
Phili p asked him \vh y he had not cood<.ed dinner 
he replied that he luid, a:nd on being asked where 
it \vas, said that he had eaten it. Then Philip 
said, and \vhat have you done \vith the pheasant? 
lIe said tl
at it was in the pot, and on Philip 
going- to g-et Ï't, asked where was the So.u p. Sam 
saiìd. that he had drank it all to that. Philip 
dTank the renl ainder. 


Experiences of some Cooking of Mr. Sam 


So Philip, after drinking- the reillainder of the 
soup, took the bird O\ut of the Plot. It looked 
plump and yery fat, hut as soon at; he put his 
fork into it an ex'plosion of the contents ,vas 
the lonl..-equence, \vhich flew all oyer Philip's face, 
tor SaIn ,vas quite inexp.erienced in the art of 
cobking- and he had neglected to renlove any of 
the inward parts frO'lll the pheasant, but had 
made and drank the sou,p from such ingredients 
as it contained. Philip having- drank thc dregs 
of it caused a little lau
gh at his expense, and 
the saving- IS that a Iltl'ngrY nlaIl is an angry 
29 



luan. But this only c
used good-natured Philip 
to goo and catch SalTI by the feet as he lay there 
laughing and pu] I hinl to the outside of the door 
\vithout using any violence \vhatever. IIo\vever, 
we all did the best we cqUid under su
h disap- 
pointments and in a short time we had prepared 
food for ourselves, an;d \v
ere satisfied, for ,ve 
had come to learn by eX'Perience that disappoj nt- 
nlen ts \vere of frequent occurrence and \Vc had 
just to put up with such things. 


William Goes lrp the River and is Delighted with 
What He Saw 


The next day being Sunday, Iny brother and I 
had been brought up under g-oad ' Pres byteriam 
teaching and "Tere taug-ht to remember the Sab- 
bath day, to keep it holy, and yet William 
thouRht that it cou}d not be of mU,ch harm for 
him to take a quiet stroll up the river bank a 
short distance, and after walking- a little over a 
mile he caIne upon \vhat he thoug-ht to be the 
lo'
eliest spot that he had as yet seen, and after 
his return he told me all about it, and we re- 
solved to g.o up on the morrow, that is, Mond
y 
nlorning and see it. So when morning came, 
mv brother and I told the dthers that we were 
goin,g u;p the river ,to. ha'Ve a look at a part of 
the cdUntrv \vhich William saw yesterday. 


Our Selections of Farms 


Upon a Mo:nday morning, about the middle of 
the month of April, in the year 1851, about a 
month after leaving Gu
lph, we resolved, after a 
:m 



yerv general and close inspection of all 
the surrounding-s ana conditions of the 
place, here to pitch our tent, and then 
try to he\v QU t for ol1rsel ves fu ture 
hOlnes in tbis beautiful forest, and although the 
land was not yet surveyed, \ve commen
ed at 
O:lce to cut log-s to build a shanty near by a 
pure running spring- creek, and not far from the 
edge of the river, which had a pretty island of 
g-reen grass just o.pposi te, and this had the ef- 
fect of giving a very pleasi
R, cheerful aspect 
and appearance to the place. In a sho'rt tÏ1ne 
\ye Rot our household effects broug-ht here \vith 
the assistance of our friends, and \ve also Rot 
the 10Rs of the shanty put up, \vhich \vas only 
thirteen feet square, and the next morning we 
werit to assist J a:ke Atkinson to build' his house 
on the opposi te side of the river, for by this 
tiIl1e a majority of those \vho had conle dQwn 
the river \yith us had departed, lnostlv to the 
Inouth of the riyer or SOlue other part of the 
cou,ntrv, onl:,
 those that \vanted farln land re- 
malnlng. So, \vnen \ve had nearly completed 
raisinR Jake's house about noon, a Rentlelnan, 
Captain John Spence, caIne up fJoln SouthaInp- 
ton to g-et IllY brother or I to g;o \vith hÌ1u, and 
take squatters' pos.session of SOllie valuable pine 
land about seyen Illiles do\vn the river towards 
the Indian H.eser\Tcs, for there \vere g-entlemen 
frOin Toronto lnaking- enquiries after such land, 
and also our friend" Mr. l\lcDonald, was an,xious 
to secure the pine for the purpose of 111 akil1J{ fish 
barrels. 


::1 



Incident of the Bear, Wm. Lost 


So Willialll started Ì1nmediatelv \\-ith Capit. 
Spence to our quarters across the river and at 
ance prepared for themselves a hasty dinner, 
made from pork gr
\"v and flour put into a pan 
and fried together, Thi!s, \vith a d't"in'k of \vater. 
cqmpleted their Ineal, and as it 'vas a fi'ne, 
bright, \,yarm day they set off at once, Willialll 
going in his shirt sleeves and carrying his axe 
U
pOl1 his shou lder . They turned dO\Vl1 by the 
banks of the river, \vhich they found to be a 
1011g-, rough, tedious road to travel. down the 
crooked river, \vhich lnade the \vay d!ouble the 
leng-th. Bu t at last they reached the spot and 
William comlnenced to perforln the duties requir- 
ed, \vhile Capt. Spence conJinued his cQurse 
down the riyer past the. Indian villag-e and then 
home,. \VilliaJ.u, after finishing his work, thought 
that he could reach hO;J.ue in, a much nearer "
a\
 
by taking a straig-ht line throu:g-h the \voods, and 
as the day \vas dra\ving to\vards its close, he 
started off at a rapi
d' Piace and after travel1jn
g- 
for a considerable distance \vas surprised to see 
\vhat appeared to be a large clearing, and get- 
ting 'nearer saw, to his dis111a;y, that it was a 
bodv o'f \vater, and as he was not a\vare of atly- 
thin'g of the kind heing in our near neig-hbO'r- 
hood, he beCall1e greatly alarmed and frightencd. 
Sdon he discovered that he \vas lost, and 
tl1ust have gone a long way in the wrong- direc- 
tion. This lakc is no\v Arran, situated in the 
To\vnship of Arran, So \Vil1ial11, after a fe\v 
moments of study and considering- the hest course 


:
2 



to take, for it was just about dark, started to 
run back in the direction that he thought he had 
conle, in hopes of finding the river, and in his 
excitement and haste he nearly ran over a large 
bear. 


William Lost and Found 


So sudden and unexpected was the occurrence 
that the bear \vas frightened up a tree, and Wil- 
liam lost no tinle in making the distanc
 be- 
t\veen them as great as possible, and i\vhile run- 
ning in the dark through a thick underbrush his 
pants \vere nearly all torn to pieces. Not kno'\v- 
ing \vhere he \vas, and becoming tired and hot 
from the running- and excitement, he came to a 
large fallen tree, and then cra,vled into the ho]- 
low for the nig-ht, and intended to try and de- 
fend himself \vi th his axe against the bear or 
any other night prowlers, should they attempt 
to attack him. But he soon found his bed Chal11- 
ber to be a very cold and uncomfortable one, for 
being very \varm from his previous exertion and 
being almost ,vithout clothing-, he soon becalne 
very cold and chilled throug-h. He lay \vi th his 
teeth chattering all nig-ht, but as soon as day- 
lig-ht beg-an to appear he cra\vled out of his den 
and began to take: in his surroundings and be- 
gan by examining upon \vhich side of the tree 
the moss I gre\v, and the direction in \vhich the 
top of the pine leaned, and as it \vas a dark 
Ino'rning the sun could not be seen, he had to be 
g-uided by observation of these natural sig-ns. He 
set ofl in what he knew to be a southerly direc- 


33 



tion, hoping soon to reach the river, and in the 
course of a fe\v hours ' travel heard the rushing 
sound of its waters, and con tinlUing his way up 
its banks, reached our quarters about noon in a 
l110st pitiable-lookJing condition. But after giv- 
ing full explanation as to the cause and getting 
some dinner, he soon became his former self 
again, quickly recovering- from all its effects, be- 
ing blessed \vi th a good consti tu tion. He was 
as hardy as a knot and felt no worse from this 
hard experience. 


My First Night in Our New Home 


I \vill tell you a little about ho\v I elnplo(yed 
my time during- '\Tilliam's absence. 'Vhen I re- 
turned from assisting Jake I found some of the 
remains of Capt. Spence's and Willialn's dinner 
in the frying pan, and after more fully supplying 
tllY own \vants, I at once comluenced operations 
and began to sa\v a doorway into our shanty, 
and before night I had completed the cutting, 
but as \ve had neither door nor roof, I got a 
forked stick and drove it into the g.round and I 
put some more sticks across and then covered 
all over \vith a quilt, and then got sonle hem- 
lock brush to put on the g-round for a bed, and 
then I nailed another quilt on the door\vay as a 
sligh t protection anù made every other prepara- 
ti on that I could for relnaining- there during the 
nigh t, as I expected '\Tilliam to return every 
UlOlnen t, and thus I \vas kept quite busily en- 
ploved until it became quite dark. Williatn had 
not yet returned and I began to feel a' good deal 
34 



anno'
ed at his seeming thoughtlessness or indif- 
ference in thus leaving me to remain alone for 
the night, for I was under the impression that he 
had returned as far as Philip Strowger's and 
was remaining there when he knew that I was 
alone and \vould be expecting him, for we had 
only removed that morning and Ii ttle did I think 
that he ,vas even in a worse plight than 1. But 
so anxious were \ve to have a home and shelter 
that I was not willing to lose any more time by 
going back to Philip's, and yet this place \vas in 
no condition to remain in over ni,ght. This \vas 
also my first night of separati'on from the others 
and my first in our new qnarters, and I felt. any- 
thing but comfortable. I slept very little, the 
night \vas so cold, and I heard the lynx roaming 
about outside the shanty. I would greatly have 
preferred some other and more desirable com- 
panionship, but at length morning- came and all 
nature put on a brighter appearance. 


Mrs. WaHace's Entrance 



\nd \vhile I am speaking of the events I think 
that it \vould not be right for me to omit giv- 
ing an account of an incident that h'appened 
abou t this time, j
st to give some idea of the 
kind of material many of the early pioneers were 
composed of. Our neighbor, l\Ir. \Vallace, on the 
other side of the river, had just erected a small 
hou
e of logs, but at this I time it had neither 
roof, floor nor door, when his plucky young wife, 
who had a short time before \valked all the \vay 
from Owen Sound through the Indian trail, ac- 
35 



companied by her husband, who drew a tobog- 
gan all the way over on the snow, laden ,vith 
their. household effects, and she also carried some 
bundles in her hands all the way. Since their ar- 
rival she had been staying at the Indian village 
with their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Cathay, but be- 
coming- very anxious to see her new home and 
assist her husband in his work, one morning she 
left her comfortable abode with Mrs. Cathay 
am.d stJarted off to see her new home. Carrying 
some bundles . containing a fe\v requisites, and 
walking all the way sh'e reached her intended 
home before evening, and as there was no door- 
way cut I or any way of entering, she climbed 
over the top of th'e logs and got inside in that 
way, and ever afterwards remained to assist her 
hlusband in all h!is undertakings, putting up 
cheerfully with every hardship and inconvenience 
inciden tal to pioneer settlement, and I am pleas- 
ed to add that this lady still remains and is yet 
an active, vigorous' woman, and able to enjoy 
the fruits of her labors of earlier days, although 
many of those who tdok a part with her in those 
days have passed away. 


Home Incidents 


In returning to our former subject I may say 
tha t \ve put off no time in trying to put our 
shan ty in to a mor.e habitable, candi tion. William 
was a good hland \vith an axe and with it made 
many little things that were very useful. \Ve 
manag-ed to roof our shanty with elm bark and 
we chinked the cracks up \vith pieces of split 
36 



basswood and moss, and we made a fireplace 
wi th stones from the river, and a chi'mney r place 
of bent sticks plastered with mud, and a floor of 
bass\vood I slabs, split and hewn with an adze. 
But we were also very anxious to get some of the 
land cleared in order to put in some crops and 
persevered hard to attain that object. There 
were a good many,people coming into the coun- 
try about that time looking for land, and very 
frequen tly we had to ferry them over the river 
with our little raft, and seldom a day or night 
passed without having some to entertain. There 
was no Qther place wi thin reach for many miles, 
and we never made any charge but welcomed all 
who came. Sometimes it trou'bled us a little to 
keep up a supply of prorvisions. We did not 
kno\v \v here nor ho\v to get them, but we gener- 
ally managed to have something both for our- 
selves and others to eat. So we persevered ev- 
ery day enlarging our clearing, until we had got 
quite an opening made in the woods, and as we 
could see with pleasure each day the results of 
the labor of our hands we were the more encour- 
aged to persevere in the attainment of this, the 
object of our ron bi tion, and then to look forward 
\vith hope to the speedy betterment of our con- 
dition, and \ve often used to say that the bitter 
cometh before the s\veet, \vhich will make the 
s\veet taste all the s\veeter when it comes. 


A Thrilling Incident of a W reeked Scow 
One Saturday evening early in May. \ve noticed 
a large quantity of wreckage floating down the 
river in the shape of boxes, barrels and bundles 
37 



of bedding, also a coop full of dro\vned chickens 
were found stuck in a tree top at the edge of the 
river. We felt sure that something serious had 
occurred up the river, so about ten o'clock on 
Sunday morning- we got word that a scow was 
wrecked in a rapids some miles up the river, and 
thát there were men, women and children aboard 
of lier, and that they were in great dang-er of 
perishing if they did not get il11Jt11ediate assist- 
ance, for they had been in the water since Satur- 
day at noon. This information was given us by 
a party of surveyors coming. do,vn the river in a 
small scow, but they dared not ventutre near for 
fear of knoc.klit1Jg them all olff into the water, so 
strong and rapid \vas the current at that place. 
I may here say that the report of our safe pass- 
age do'\vn the river had become generally kno\vn, 
and scows becan1e popular. Some one sug-gested 
that we take up our large scow and try to res- 
cue them, but that was almost impossible in 
such a swi.ft running river. It would have taken 
a long time and the people \vere in imminell t 
danger, and every moment was precious, as ,ve 
did not know how far up the river they might be. 
So ,ve abandoned the idea of taking up the scow, 
but instead we concluded to take an axe, auger 
and ropes, and hurry up and make a raft up 
above them and when down at the proper place 
anchor it and endeavor by that means to rescue 
those that \vere in such peril. So Jake :A tkil1- 
son, William and I each put a small piece of 
scone in our pockets and then started up the 
river bank on a run. But we found travelling- 
very disagreeable that mornIng for there had 
38 



fallen during the night about an inch of soft 
sno\v, which made the branches wet and unpleas- 
ant and the way was very uneven and hard to 
travel with much speed. But nevertheless \ve 
soon caIne to our new neighbor's, M;r. Go\vin- 
lock's, \vho, \vith his son and Mr. J ame
 Rov,'"- 
an, who had been there only a few days, had 
just put some poles up against a tree and cover- 
ed them with boug-hs to make a tempotrary 
shel ter. 
I might say here that the occupants of this 
place \,,"ere l\lr. Gowinlock, a substantial Scotch 
Iarll1er Ironl the 1'0\vnship of Chinguacotlsy, and 
l\Ir. .J all1eS Rowan, who afterwards becalne 111eJn- 
her for the caunty, so \vhen \ve reachcd this spot 
\ve called out. Why are you not up yet? Do yOU 
not kno\v that there are people \vrecked up the 
river? ..And receiving- no answer \ve looked into 
the tent and saw a man lying .asleep on some 
rugs, and again repeating our question and ask- 
ing:, ".hv are you lying there? wh'en he replied in a 
sleepy, unintellig-ible \vay, Did you s
e anythin1.! 
of Iny double-barrelled gun? \\'e said 110, and 
then asked him if he was one of the party that 
was \vrecked up the river. He said yesA \VE 
then asked him where Mr. Gowinlock was. He 
said th'at they had all gone up the river to help 
tho
e that \vere on the 'vater. \Ve asked hitn 'no 
nlore questions, but at once hurried forv,'"ard as 
fast as \ve could go. I might as well say here, 
as I \vas told sdon afterwards, that this pOOl 
young fellow from which '\ve had just parted. 
\vas a young Englishman lately Iron1 London, 
and an expert swimmer. \Vhen the sco'\v struck 
::'9 



the rock and went do\vn the hinder part sunk 
first, as it was laden \vith heavy material that 
would not float, but slid down to that end and 
anchored her to the bottom in a sloping position, 
the forepart being a few feet under the water, 
but all the lig-hter articles that would s\vim were 
carried away by the current, ,and it was some of 
these that \vere seen by us as they \vere being 
carried past on the Sawrday evening. For the 
scow had been hea vil y laden \vi th household 
goods and provisions, besides heavy tool chests 
and nails; and also had on board four n1en, two 
\v?men and Eve children, and as they \vere in a 
very perilo'Us condition they made every efrort 
to save their lives. This young man was the 
only good swimp-ler and he \vas induced to di- 
vest himself of his clothing, and tying some bed 
. cords around his middle jumped into the water, 
hoping to reach the shore and then make one 
end fast there and the other to the SCo\V, that by 
that means they might find a way of escape. 
After swimming over a distance the current 
caug-ht the rope in' such a way that he could not 
endure the efIort and had to be drawn back into 
the scow. But after resting a little he said that 
he would try again, but this time he would take 
the end of the rope in his mouth,as he thoug-ht it 
would be easier to manage in that \vay. So he 
made a second effort in this way, but had not 
g-one very far from the scow when he found that 
the water was having as great an e.ffect uþon the 
rope as it had at the first trial, and opening his 
mouth let the end of the rope go, and m;ade for 
the shore, which he safely reached and then com- 
40 



menced his long \valk down the river edge in a 
perfectly nude condition, in hopes of finding 
sû
ne place of shelter, and getting assistance to 
help him in trying to rescue those that were 
still upon the water. Continuing his way down 
the river's edge fior a long distance without find- 
ing any help, darklles!s came on and he could not 
see his way, so he had to content himself by 
standing up against a tree all night, and to add 
still further to his discolnfort there fell about an 
inch of snow during the night, and from the ef- 
fects of the cold and cHill he got in to a kind of 
stupid slumber just about daylight, and did not 
awake for some time, but ,,
hen he did he at 
once con1menced to proceed on his journey down 
the river, but had only gone a short distance 
when he saw .a sm'oke and made straight for it, 
quite unobserved, and he gave a great surprise 
to Mr. GowinlO'ck, who \vas standing at that 
moment with his back towards him, busily en- 
gaged making his oatmeal porridge for break- 
fast, and turning around suddenly. he sa\v the 
naked man standing close beside him, \vhich 
caused him to start back, and holding up his 
llan'ds he exclaimed, "The Loord be here, \vhar 
cam- ye fra'?" So after giving I SOlne little ex- 
planation of his circumstances and the disaster, 
they at on'ce furnished the poor fellow with a 
flannel shirt, and after giving him something to 
eat, put him into the bed they had just lately 
risen from themJ:;elves. After taking a hurried 
breakfast and securing the tools and n1aterial 
that they would require in making a raft, they 
started oft up the river in search of the wrecked 
41 



scow, and as they had a good start of us they 
had succeeded in making a raft and had safely 
rescued all on board, and were just landing them 
on the river's edge as we reached .the spot. 
IVlessrs. Gowinlock and Rowan used great 
caution and judgment in the successful accom- 
plishment of such a ticklish job. But the res- 
cued ones having no more relish for water con- 
veyance declined to proceed any further by the 
raft, and so the rescuers proceeded do\vn the 
swift running strealn and reached their abode, 
leaving the poor, pitiable, starving creatures to. 
our care. 'fhey \vere only partly clothed and 
looked half starved, for they had been in the cold 
water for more than twenty-four hours \vithout 
any food and hanging on to the scow for dear 
life. No' \vonder their first request was for 
bread. We had only the small piece that \ve put 
into our pockets at starting and had not yet 
taken time to eat, but we freely delivered up all 
that we had, which was not Inuch amongst so 
Inany. It was now about four o'clock in the 
afternoon and we each took a shivering child 
upon our backs, with their teeth chattering frolH 
the cold and lon1g exposure in the water, and 
some had no shoes nor coats to wear, for all had 
been taken down the stream. One poor lady had 
the misfortune of getting her foot cut with an 
adze on the scow, \v hich made travelling very 
painful, especially on such a rough gravelly road. 
The names of these unfortunate persons, so far 
as' I can now remember, for it is over fifty years 
ago, are: Mr. Silas Fuller, Mrs. Fuller and four 
children; Mr. Gilbert and his man, who SWall1 to., 
42 



the shore; l\lrs. Philips and another lady and 
child, whose names I forget. 
Thus \ve continued our slow journey down the 
river's edge, each with our load upon our back, 
and we soon began to feel the need of) some din- 
ner, for we had all travelled a long way over a 
rough road without taking any refreshments, 
and it by this time was getting quite dark, and 
glad \vere we indeed to see at a little distan)ce 
the light trom Mfr. Gowinlock's fire, where he in 
his kind, hospitable way \vas busy pre- 
paring what he had, and was mak- 
ing oatmeal porridge, for oatmeal was 
the only thing in the way of food diet that 
he possessed at that time. But the children kept 
crying for bread, and said that they did not like 
porridge or gruel. Mr. Gowinlock said that he 
had no bread to give them, nor anything to make 
bread o
, and if they could not take that the
- 
were "nane hungert. J, But we were feeling both 
tired and hungry and wer.e an.xious to reach our 
shánty, and suggested that \ve would take the 
raft that had rescued them from the SCO\v and 
go the remainder of the ,yay on the river. As 
Mr. Go\vinlO'ck had only been a very short time 
there he had no accommodation to offer J bu t 
kindly consented to keep as Inany of the n1en and 
boys as would stay \vith hinl, and if \ve could 
take the women and gir Is \vi th us, for we had 
the best accommodation to give then1. So \ve 
agreed to do so, when the \VOlllen offered a very 
determined opposition to venturing upon the \va- 
ter again, and it required all I our pov.rers of per- 
suasion to induce them to do so, and to convince 
4:{ 



them that there was really very little danger, 
as we \vere acqUJain ted with the course of the 
river, and that it would be quite impossible to 
travel, by land on such a dark night. They at 
last consented and one man also accompanied 
us, so \vhile we were pr.oceeding safely down the 
river and had gotten about half way, \vhen \ve 
heard a loud halloo from the opposite bank of 
the river. Two or three men had come up the 
ri ver from that side in search of the wrecked 
ones, as the news had spread all around by this 
tiule and getting benighted they had made pre- 
parations to remain where they were during the 
night, and hearing us coming down on the raft 
they commenced to shout and halloo to us, mak- 
ing many enquiries, and when we told them that 
all the party had been safely taken off the ,vater 
they then asked us to put across to them. But 
we told them that we were too tired 
and hungïXy and did not want to p.ut off 
any more tin1'e than we cOiUld help. They then 
said that we could never get down that rivcr on 
such a dark night, and that we would all get 
dro\vned. This set the women to screaming and 
badly frightening them. We told them to keep 
quiet and not to be afraid, for we knew the river 
better than those who wished to alartn theln 
did, and in a few minutes more we would land 
them safely on the shore at our lauding place 
near our shanty, which we very soon reached, 
where we tied up our raft and quickly luarched 
up to the shanty. The first thing we did was to 
lig-ht the candle and then make on a great fire 
and put the kettle on, and get some food reaåy 
44 



as fast as possible, for we were all very hungry, 
especially those poor women and ch'ildrcn. \Ve 
soon got some ham and bread and a good cup 
of tea, and after our urgent cravings of hung-er 
were satislÍÌ.'ed we men all went outside for a 
tÏ1ne in order to allow the women to retire to 
\ the only bed that we possessed, and our next 
concern was to find suitable corners or space in 
which to obtain a little repose after our hard 
day's travel, and just as we were getting things 
into condition and were ready to retire ",,'e heard 
the sound of voices outside, and upon opening- 
the door to our astonishment a number of Inen 
enteredJ--enough to fill the house and occupy all 
our standing room, for we had not chairs nor 
seats to offer them, and if \ve had there \vas no 
room to set them. The ne\vs of the disaster had 
reached the mouth of the river, and as this \'"as 
Sunday some of the inhabitants and also a íe\v 
strangers that were up here looking for laud, 
s
arted. with the others up the river., in order to 
render what assistance they could. But as they 
did not know the distance and \vere entirely ig- 
norant of .the way, they lost thetllselves and in 
the darkness had been wandering- about for SOUIC 
till1e until they saw the light from our shanty. 
It was now getting to be a late hour. They had 
a loaf of bread which they had broug-ht \vith 
them and some of them also carried \\rhiskcy, 
both externally and internally, and were a little 
inclined sometimes to use Í1n proper ] ang-uage hy 
swearing, but we told them at once that \ve 
would not allow any language of that kind in {his 
shanty. Afterwards there was no more trouble, 
4ñ 



but the night was spent In.ostly in conversation 
and telling stories and a song or \ two was al
o 
sung. Thus the night passed away and .when 
daylight began to appear those who had conle up 
from Southanlpton wanted to get the raft to 
carry then1 down the river. I said no, that I 
wanted to go to Durham for my o!Xen in a day 
or t\VO and \van ted to use it then to go down the 
river. They pleaded with nle to go 
now and take them all along with 
me. I consented, after consultin
 \vith 
William and ar;ranging with hinl to COll1e 
to O\ven Sound and assist Ine in driving the 
oxen over from there, for William was going 
that day \vith some others to try to save some 
of the stu'ff that was still on the wrecked scow. 
So I and a number more started a little after 
sunrise to go down the river upon the raft, but 
we did not reach the. mo\uth of the river till it 
was nearly noon, and then I went, direct to the 
house of my friend, Capt. Spence and had a good 
wash and tidy up, and enjoyed a nice hot din- 
ner, \vhich \vas rather a luxury to me in those 
times. Then I started im,.mediately to cross the 
river on my way to Owen Sound, a distance of 
28 miles through the woods. It was now one 
o'clock. I was told bv evervone that met Ine 
..I ..I 
that I could not get through that night, and as 
I passed through the Indian village I met the 
chief and I asked him what he thought of my 
chance of getting through to-night. He shook his 
head and said "Sun too much round that \-vay." 
pointing to the \vest. Notwithstanding this, I 
pl1shed on as fast as I could go and carried Iny 
46 



'Coat on my arm, and in one of its pockets I had 
a verv valuable knife which had been given to 
tHe b

 a young friend of Inine lately from Scot- 
land, a younger brother of the late Charles Dav- 
idson, Esq., Güelp:h. lVhen I \vas ru.nning, this 
knife accidentally dropped out of Iny coat pock- 
'et anlong-st the leaves of the path, and "\vhen I 
got nearly half way through I Inet the two 
voung l\lessrs. l\lartindale, ,vho came do\vn the 
ri ver \,
i th us on our SCO\v. Thev were on their 
return from Owen Sound, ,vhich place they had 
left at eight o'clock in the tnorning, and they 
-\\'ere under the impression that they \vere nearly 
-all the "\vav across, so they \vere both surprised 
and alarmed "\'9hen I told them that they were 
very little more than half ,vav. This inforlna- 
tion set theln oft at a run and I continued my 
journey in the opposite direction as fas,t as I 
could g-o, and I got into the Sound about eight 
0' clock, having- made a very quick passage 
across. Rut then I discovered that in lny haste 
by running- I had lost my good knife that I had 
so mu\ch prized. A,s usual I put up at lVir. Cor-- 
net's hotel and enjoyed a good hot supper, and 
ver
9 shortly after\vards I retired to bed. I had 
got ten no sleep on the previous nig-h t and after 
the long- I \valk of the dav I 'vas very tired and 
needed rest. 'So after having- a good sleep I felt 
refreshed and in the morning, after taking break- 
fast, 1 ag-ain set ofT on n1Y "\vay down to Dur- 
ham, a distance of twenty-eight Iniles, and 
reaching that place early in the afternoon I re- 
luaineò there all nig-ht. But I made all suit- 
able preparations for returning- to O\ven Sound 
47 



with the oxen in the morning, and as it would 
not be possible to drive them through the woods 
yoked together I thou.ght it better to leave the 
Ybke and fasten the bóws upon their necks and 
drive them separately. But I had not got very 
far before I found out that I had made a great 
mistake, for ,vhen I came to a cross road (jr an 
open gate the one ox would turn and run in one 
direction and the other one the opposite wav. 
This all caused me a good deal of extra running- 
and I made very slo\v progress all the way, and 
to add stiU more to my trouble it 
commenced snowing heavily just before 
night, and the ground ,vas soon cov- 
ered quite a depth. This tuade travel- 
ling very disagreeable and difficult, and ,vhen it 
became quite d;ark I could not see the hig-hway. 
Elspe:cialJy w.as this the case \vhen I reached the 
commons near Owen Sound where there ,vere no 
fences nor houses to be seen. All \vas ,vhi te 
with snow and as the oxen were also \vh
te in 
color I had a hard job to keep them both in 
sight, and I did not know' whereabouts I had g-ot 
to, and could only follow the cattle, which ulti- 
mately brought me to a house, where I made 
enquiries and got some assistance to dri ve 
 the 
oxen to .Mr. Corbet's hotel, finally reaching mv 
destination, tired and discourag
d. 
But I was glad to see my brother William, 
who had arrived from Southampton a short time 
before I came, so that after getting supper I 
was again ready to go to bed, for I had put in 
a most unpleasant day's work. There was at 
the hotel that night a Mr. Broadfoot staying, 
48 



'" ho had come up to look, for land and ". as anx- 
ious to accompan:,
 us to Southampton on the 
I110rrO"V, and assist us in driving the cattle over, 
,\-hich proved to be no easy task, for we had riv- 
ers to cross. and swamps to pass through. But 
by persistent, patience and perseverance we man- 
aged to reach the Indian villag-e before dark, and 
after several vain attempts we at last succeeded 
in forcing thenl to swim the Saugeen River over 
to an island where we left them for the nig-ht, 
as there was plenty of grass for thetu to eat up- 
on the island. 
...A...fter accomplishing this task we all "vent 
do,,-n the banks of the river to its mouth and 
then crossed by canoé over to Southampton, and 
thcn to the residence of our friend, Capt. Spence, 
for the nig-ht, where "ye ahvays received generous 
kindness, and after putting in a g-ood nig-ht there 
"-e ag-ain set ou t in the morning- to look for the 
oxen. and founò them ,vhere they had been left, 
and after some little trouble ,ve Rot thell1 to 
pass over the remainder of the river, and in 
course of time we at leng-th reacheù our 1it- 
tIe home in safet:v, after several days of hard 
toil and sufTering, Rut truly the back seelllS to 
be made for the hurden, for the I110re we had to 
do the better ahle \ve were to do it, and the tl10re 
athletic \ve becalne. So great "vas our po""cr of 
endurance that \ve would no more feel any ef- 
fects from running twenty Il1iles than \ve "vould 
fornlerly do franl walkjng ten, a nd when I now 
look back for I110re than fifty years and think of 
the fatigues and hardships 've then endured, and 
the !l1at1v dangers 'YC caIne safely through, I all1 
49 



filled with wonder and amazement, and the only 
w'ay that I can e.xplain these things is that we 
were both bles sed with good healthy constitu- 
tions and had al"\vays been of temperate habits, 
and had also been very strictly taught and 
trained to continue in such habi ts by a noble, 
godly mother, whose great influence over us was 
a po\ver; for good in our lives in those da vs. 
Recovery of Knife 
So in a day or two \Vil1iam got a ,yo:ke made 
and \\Te got the oxen yoked up and ready to 
start logging, but we found them not very tract- 
able and a good deal of trouble to manage. They 
did not like to "\vork and every chance they got 
would clear a"\vay into the woods, going for 
tniles,. and although "\ve had a good bell on one 
of them, yet they would go far away beyond its 
hearing, and after all we could not blame the 
poor brutes, for no doubt they "\vere lonely. There 
were no cattle but themselves within many miles 
and they would \vander away trying to find the 
road back to where they came from for long dis- 
tances, and the only way we had of finding them 
was by follo"\ving their tracks, and sometimes we 
ran great risks of losing ourselves in the woods. 
We had alwavs to carry a small conlpass in our 
pocket as it would sometimes take us a "\vhole 
d.ay to find them, and we would often have to 
leave the yoke upon theln all night to prevent 
thetll going a\vay again before morning. 
About this time there "\vere several people com- 
ing into this place looking for land, and am- 
ong-st them \vas Mr. Peter Smith, \vho stayed a 
day' or t\VO \vith us and ably assisted us to do 
50 



our logging and clearing up of some land, and 
he afterwards became one of our neighbors, set- 
tling on the opposite side of the river from us. 
I aln told that Mr. ...J\lexander Små.th, the Lib- 
eral organi'zer, is one of his sons. I got another 
surprise about this time. I was told that one 
of the 'Martill'dales had found a very valuable 
knife on his way over from the Sound a short 
time ago. While he "vas running he tripped and 
fell "vi th his face almost directly upon the top of 
this k'llife. And so the first time that I went to 
Southampton I made enquiries, and being per- 
fectly able to describe what it was like, he said 
that it was mine, and at once returned it tð 
me. This certainly was a very singular lllCi- 
dent, that he should trip at the very spot 
'\vhere my knife lay amongst the thick leaves. 
Home Inc1dents, We Journey to Guelph 
There were very m'any events, almost of daily 
occurrence, which would be interesting to relate, 
but I will confine myself principally to those 
which did most personally affect ourselves, as 
the:,- seem to be the most firmly impressed upon 
my nlelnory, and I am anxious to make nothing 
but truthful statements so far as my nlell10ry 
,,'ill allo\w or carry me back to those days of 
our early pioneer life. I will again refer to our 
clearing of the land, "vhich we accomplished in a 
short time, and had it all planted \vith potatoes 
and corn, and besides these we had a nice garden 
of vegetables. As we had. not much more use 
for oxen at the present, and they were always a 
charge to look after,' I got a chance to sell them 
51 



to 11r. l\IcDonald, who "\vanted thelll and offered 
me eig-hty-five dollars for them. They were a 
very large, heavy pair of cattle, but never had 
done much work and were scarcely what Juight 
be called properly broken in to work. I shall 
perhaps refer to them again further on in this 
story. My brother and I h'ad promised our 
father before leaving- home that if "\ve were all 
well "\ve \vould return and assist hhn with the 
haying- and harvest, and therefore we had to 
hasten orur planting and other work in order to 
keep our promise, and by constant "\vork we 
managed to get things into good shape by the 
time we "\vanted to leave for Guelph, "\vhich' was 
about the first of July. 
During- the months of May and June a good 
many people had COllie into Southanlpton, for it 
was then being surveyed, and alllongst SOlne of 
those that I "\vi 11 mention are .Mr . McNab, the 
agent; Mr. Peter Brown (I believe a cousin of the 
late Hon. George Brown) and several others 
\vhose natnes I do not no"\v remember, and about 
this time also, IVlr. Vidal (now Senator 'Vidal), 
had commenced the survey of the Township of 
Saugeen, and "\vas then prospecting up the river 
near Paisley and "\vor,king his way do\vn towards 
the mouth of the river. Ho\vever, Willialli and 
I had to leave before the land "\vas surveyed, and 
began to make preparations for leaving by care- 
fully stowing away all destructible household 
eff'ects, such as bedding and every other thing-. 
that mice could injure or destroy, for they had 
become very numerous and destructive. So \\'e 
made everyth'ing up into bundles and susp
nded 
52 



thenl from the rafters of the shanty by cords, 
and when "\ve thought that we had cOlnpleted the 
work satisfactorily \re started on our "ray Over 
to O\ven Sound, reaching there in the evening- 
and renlaining for the night. 


Conclusion of First Trip and Return to Guelph 


The next day we "\valked as far as Egermont 
and stayed at Smith's hotel for the night, and 
from there \ve made an early start in the l11orn- 
ing for "\ve "\vere anxious to get home that even- 
ing. But we found that travelling that day "\vas 
very fatiguing- and painful, as our feet had be- 
come very sore and tender from the long "\valk 
of the previous days in such hot "\veather, and 
over a hard, dusty road. But ,vhen we did at 
length reach the old home of our youth \ve re- 
ceived such a kind and cordial welcome that \ve 
"rere inclined to forget all our pains and toils, 
so great was our delig-ht at Ineeting with loved 
ones once more. 


Beginning of Our Second Migration 
A.fter enjoying a day or t,,-o of rest we felt 
able to take part again in the work of the ha 
T 
and harvest fields, and "\vhen we had any days to 
spare from home we ahvays found some of our 
neig-hbors very anxious to secure our assistance 
and in that "\vav we earned over 10rty dollars 
in a fe\v weeks. This proved to be of great help 
to us in the wav of purchasing a supply of pro- 
visions and groceries and other needful things, 
such as \vheat for seed, besides a quantitv of 
fi3 



miscellaneaus articles to'o numerous to mentian. 
Altagether there was a large wagon load, for be- 
sides the sttrlI that we had, our cousin, J ahn 
Caldwell, from Pilkington, who was "\vaiting to' 
gO' alang with us to' take up land near where we 
had settled, had also some baggage to take 
along. And so "\ve engaged a span af horses and 
\vagan fram aur ald neighbor, Mr. Young-son, to 
take us to Walkertan, and he sent his man along 
to' take care of the harses and bring them home. 


Second Journey 


After we got everything in readiness "\ve made 
aur second start for our ne"\v home, but we made 
very poor pragress an our way up, meeting \vi th 
many mishaps. Our first serious accident "\vas 
the breaking af the hind axle of the wagon. This 
accurred as we were passing along by the Town- 
ships af Egermant and Narmandy, and it caused 
us to' unlaad aur wag-on by the roadside, and as 
there was nO' wagonmaker's shop in these parts 
tn y brother found an elm tree near I by that \vas 
suitable far the pnrpp.se of making a ne\v ane, 
and he soan had it he\ved aut \vith his axe into 
the praper shape. But the skeans or irons "\vere 
also broken, and \ve had some trouble I to find a 
blacksmith and when we did sutceed in finding 
one he said that he had nO' caal to' do the wark, 
but as our case was an urgent one he said that 
if we got him same hemlock bark that he \vauld 
try and dO' the best he could for us with it un- 
der the circumstances. And so he mended them 
1n a \vay that they stood the test far years
 as 
54 



I was after\vards told by the o\vner. .A.fter this. 
delay" \\Te got as tar as Smith's Hotel, stayin
 
there for the nigJlt, as this hotel was at that 
time a favorite s10pping place, and then lea:wing 
early in the morning we reached Mr. Hunter's 
hotel at Durham early in the afternoon and we 
stayed there until morning, when "\ve turned 
do,,"n the Durham line towards Walkerton. We 
found thfis still a very bad road, and ,,"e had 
scarcely gone half "\vay do"\vn when we had an- 
other breakdo\vn. This time it was the \vagou. 
reach or coupling pole. \Ve had again to unload 
and then \Villiam soon found a small tree that 
\vould make a new one, and he cut it into sh'ape.. 
But \ye had no auger large enough to bore the 
hole for the king bolt to pass through, and one 
of us had to go back several miles to Durhaln to 
oorro"\\- a large auger, and by this delay we 
lost lunch tinle, so that \ve did not g-et to \Valk- 
erton until some titue after it \vas quite dark e 
as \\TC "Tere all quite ignorant of the road, \vhicIJ. 
\ve found to be a very rough. and uneven one.. 
Those on foot had to feel their \vay first, then 
stand and give me instru!ctions where to drive, 
in order to escape being upset, for there \\Tere 
luanv dangerous places, and it \vas so dark that 
I could not see the horses. Our teamster refused 
to risk his life upon the \vagon, so that I had 
to take charge and drive as I was directed obv 
those "Tho were picking the \vay on foot. FQr
 
tunately vIe soon reached the river bank :a.nd .<!le- 
scending c!"ossed over the bridge, and soon after 
reach
d l\ir. \Valker's inn, and when \ve unloadeò 
the \vagon in the morning our tea.mst.er .actually 
55 



,,-ept for JOY, and "\vas so glad that this tedious 
and harassit
g journey was no\\y at an end, so 
far as he \vas concerned, and that he \vas perlnit- 
ted again to return to civIlization. I don't kno\y 
that he was a very stout-hearted gentleIl1an at 
the best. . 
A.s \\Te had lost so J lluch tÍ1ne and had so many 
delays on the 'Nay up this far \ve 
did not \vant to lose but as Ii ttle 
Lime as \ve could help in preparIng 
a SCO\V to take us do\vn the ri vcr. \Yalkerton 
had Inade quite a Ii t tle ad van
e since \ve had 
passed do,,'n in the spring. 1 think l\lr. \Yalker 
had' erected a sa\\T mill, and there were other 
bui ldings put up and several people had come 
in to the to\vnship during- the spring and SUlll- 
Iner. 
...-\s \ve could get the lUlnber froll
 Thlr. \Yalker 
to build the sco\\>- we did not require to \vait, for 
he could suppl\T us \vith \vhat \ve \vanted in that 
line,so that in a fe\v days \ve \\Tere ready to pro- 
ceed down the river, \vhich at' this time was a 
very different strewn fronl \vhat it was in the 
spring, \vhen we first passed do\vn it. So \ve 
got the SCO\v ready and loaded our stuff upon 
her, and about noon \ve got aboard and set oll, 
and had to keep a sharp lookout some places to 
avoid the shallo"\vs. But \ve were very cautious 
and succeeded in passing down without any in- 
tenuption, and before it got dark we ran into 
the shore and. there tied up for the night, just a 
few mi les before "\ve reached what is no"\v Paisley 
town. On the next morning \ve Inade an early 

tart and arrived safely down at our O\\Tn, htun- 
56 



ble looking hOlne in the evening, feeling- thankful 
for our safe return to its shelter, but at the 
saIne time a little depressed by its lonely condi- 
tion. On our way down the river \ve no- 
ticed here and there a fev,r trees chopped, but no 
actual settlement in sight. But there had quite 
an advancement been made about Southalupton 
and along the lake shore. 


Our Arrival Home and Delight in the Fortune of 
Our Location, Mice Plague 


You may conceive of our surprise when we 
looked around the next morning to find a stake 
a little in front of our shanty door, with our 
nalnes marked by the surveyor on both sides, and 
that our little thirteen feet square shanty stood 
upon t\VO lots, about equal parts on each, and 
v,-e also had our names written upon the t\VO 
rear lot stakes in the same way, and a road or 
highway running between thenl, so that \ve 
could not have been better sui ted, nor desired 
more nor better trea tmen t than we had received 
from Senator Vidal, who surveyed the tov, r llship 
during our absence. But we kne\v that althoug-h 
\ve \"ere a\vay we had some true friends left be- 
hind us, and although .there was some trouble in 
SOlne quarters regarding first claÌ111 upon lots, 
,,-e never had the least degree of trouble. 


l though we found everything so satisfactory 
ou tside of our shanty the inside \vas quite the 
reverse, for although we had used the precau tion 
to make up into bundles and suspend fronl the 
rafters all our hedd.ing- and destrructible stuIT 11('- 


5: 



fore leaving, yet upon our return we found that 
the tnice had taken advantage of our absence and 
had made a' nUIsery for hatching amongst our 
bedding, and cut everything that came in their 
\vay. So innumerable were the swarms of wood 
or white bellied mice (sometimes known as deer 
Inice), that we found it to be impossible for us. 
to keep our eatahles in any place that they 
would not get them, except in our round iron 
bake' kettle with close-fi1tti:ng lids. Close \voodell 
boxes were of no use, flor. they would gnaw 
through them in quick time, and now that \\7e 
had returned with plenty of fresh supplies in 
the way of provisions and seed wheat their llum- 
bers seemed to increase tenfold, and so great did 
the plague of mice becon1.e that we were put to 
our wits' end, a:nd it became a problem \vhether 
they would not drive us out and get full posses- 
sion. We u.sed every conceivable n1eans of de- 
stroying them by every kind of trap that \ve 
could invent, and sometimes we 'w"ould be able to 
get the lend of a cat for a few days, but nothing 
seemed to have any effect in lessening their num- 
bers. Thev seemed to increase all the more rap- 
idly, and so daring were they that if we left the 
table a moment to fetch the tea or coffee pot 
frotl1 the hearth, whenever our bachs were turn- 
ed thev \vould come and snatch our ham or 
, oJ 
bread from our plate and ran away with it in 
a nwment. My brother often caught thenl \"ith 
his hands a!!d killed them by the dozen \vhile 
si t ting at the table, for he had made a candle- 
stick out of a piece of basswood, and I have of- 
ten seen the mice run up and bite the candle- 
51; 



while we wo I1ld be sitting reading by its light 
in the evening, and we found as fall and winter 
approached that their numbers kept increasing, 
and the more tena;ciO/Us they became; so lnuch so 
that when we were in be'd and asleep at night, 
we would often be aw
kened by mice pulling at 
our hair and c:utting dur bed co;vers in order to 
get the cDtton watl:ding, or O'J1r hair to make 
them.sel ves nests. I assure you we \\.ere 
not the only ones that were pester- 
ed with the plague of mIce, for all 
of our neighbors had their share of 
trouble to bear with the same nuisance. Yet, not- 
\vith'standing these pests, we kept constantly 
employed in clearing up the land, and making 
other needed improvements. So anxious \vere we 
in this undertaking that we often neglected to 
make any preparations for our next meal, and 
when at work we became so thoroughly tired and 
hungry that we could suffer no longer, we would 
go into the shantv, n1aik.e a fire, and then pa- 
tiently wait until we got something cooked and 
ready to appease our hunger, and we often used 
to declare that this \vduld be the last time that 
\ve \vould be so foolish as to go to work without 
having some food prepw-ed that \ve co:uld eat 
upon our return \vithdut having to \vait so long. 
But these resolutions ,,'ere like piecrust, only 
made to be brdken, for as soon as we got a 
good meal, and \vere satisfied, off to work we 
\vould go, a.n'd never think a bout the next Ineal, 
and thus \ve put in rather a dre
y titne. But 
hope carried us on, for we looked for\vard to 
the time, in the very near future, when we \vould 
59 



be blessed \vi th a comfortable hOlne and the 
happy influences of sweet dOlllestic associa:tion. 
But during- this time we made frequent visits to 
Southam,pton, where we would meet with old 
friends, such as l\lr. McDonald, who had boug-ht 
a small vessel called the Saucy Jack, and was 
sailing her between Go.derich and Southaulpton, 
and \vould bring passengers and goods, which 
was of very great service to the place. So. 
sOll1etin1es after a verv short visit at the home 
of our friend, Capt. Spence, and tasting of the 
cOlnforts enjoyed under such social surroun,dings, 
it had the effect of Inaking us Inore dissatisfied 
with our own present condition in our poor 
shanty life, ana of the misery attendant upon 
the keeping of bachelor's hall. 


Inciden t of the Bear 


I must not forget to relate an incident that oc- 
curred about this tÌ1ne, in which I was intimate- 
ly cO'11nected. There was word sent up fron1 
Southalnpton urgently requesting one of us to 

o do\v'n to the pine lands and relnain there in 
possession of it for a short tin1e, for there were 
parties at pj!"esent in search of such land, and 
,vere making every enquiry where to obtain such. 
So I volunteered to go down and ren1ain for a 
time in possession, or until the danger was past. 
I made a small raft for the purpose of taking me 
down the river, and I put up a small su'p(plv .of 
provisio'ns, and providing myself with a blank- 
et. and putting some matches in my pocket, anid 
takin!! m
T axe and a double-barrelled gun that 
60 



I had borrowed from lVlr. Brown. After getting- 
myself so thoroughly eq.uipped, I and the dog 
got aboard the little raft to descend the rIVer. 
I may say here that this dog \vas 
a . very poor, miserable, half - starv
d an- 
imal that took up with us, and fol- 
lowed us \vhen \ve were coming do\vn the 
Durham line \vith the wagon. The poor thing 
was very hungry and \ve took compassion upon 
him and fed him, and no\v he had become IniUc h 
changed in appearance, and was growing q:uite 
fierce and daring. Early in the afternoon I 
reached the spot and landed, and looked over the 
ground and cut do\vn a tree here and there, 
in order to secu
e possession, and as I had 
not seen nor heard anyone aro:und, nor the ap- 
pearance of anyone having been th
re, early in 
the evening I cut some wo.od and made a fire 
in the woods, back some distance from the river, 
and when it began to get dark I spread my mat 
on the ground, eat my lunch and put on a good 
fire, and then laid down to rest upon my blank- 
et, my axe and gun close by my side, and the 
dog lay close up to my back. In this way I had 
gone into a very sound sleep, for a long time, 
as the fire had all burned up and nothing re- 
mained but ashes. All at once I was a\vakened 
in a great hurry. The dog had jumped np ann \'i.-as 
barking- fiercely close by Iny side. I imml"'diately 
sprang to my feet and commenced to stir up thè 
fire, at the same time urging on the dog-. \vho 
would not leave my side, but kept barking fur- 
iously, with the hair upon his back standing- on 
end. I knew that there was something nearby 
f.1 



that he was afraid of, and as I stirred the firc
 I 
found a piece of stick that had some" fire on cne 
end, and this I kept S'.h'aking in the air until it 
became bright. 'Vith this in one hand and tile 
[(un in the oilier, and the dog a fOút or two in 
advance, I kept swinging the stick, urgi;ng on 
fhe dog-, and following in the tlirection indicated 
by him. I had not gone mruny yards in that 
wav before I heard., close by me, the trampling 
of some heaJvy a'nimal, and by the breaking of 
the br.us:h I ktnew that it \vas a large bear, so I 
swung my stick around in the air and threw it 
in the direction of the sound that I heard, and 
then retreated in haste to Incake on a good fire, 
the dog- foll.o\ving close at my heels. I put off 
no time before making a good fire, so as to give 
1ig-ht, for I 
new that my safety depended m,uch 
upon keeping up a goo.d bright light. However, 
I heard nothi'ng more of the intruder that night, 
as I kept o!n a blazing goold fire. I have no 
doubt but it was Mr. Bruin, thinking to make 
an early breakfast by catching me sleeping, 
which no doubt he could have done if it: had not 
been for the dog, that awo'ke me in time, and I 

ay mention that this dog was afterwards pre- 
sented to Mr. Peter Brown at his request. After 
taking some breakfast, I sauntered about the 
greater pa;rt of the day, and in the afternoon J 
started to ret.ul:r;n ba;ck thome, as I did not care 
to run the risk for a1l1other night of becoming 
food for the bear, and as I had brought the pock- 
et compass along with me, I took what I be- 
lieved "\vould be a straight co'U:rse to our hOlne, 
and succeeded in reaching there beforp. it \vas 
62 



dark, and was gladly \VelCOlned safe home 0 nee 
more. But as the days became sbort:
r and the 
evenings longer, we had no way of an
using our- 
selves but by reading. \Ve had no newspapcrs 
and very few books, biut we \vould sit and read 
turn ab.
llt, by the lig1ht of a tall
w candle, and 
of the Bible chapter after C'hapter. \Ve were ab'o 
greatly interested in reading the writings of 1 he 
Rev. Dr. F. W.' Krumlnatoher on the prophets 
Elijah and Elisha. These, along- wit;h Bunyan's 
"Pilgrim's Progress," comprised nearly all thc 
stock of our reading matter, for no sooner had 
we settled into a home of our own than we set 
up and established family worship in our poor 
shantv, and although we \vere only tlhtree young 
men, \ve seldom neglected the dru tv, for Cousin 
.J oh'11 was still \vith u
s. at that time, and \vhe- 
ther \ve had strangers remaining over nig1ht with 
us, or we were allone, it made no difference to us 
in that respect, and we would have all kinds of 
people staying o;ver for a night, for there were 
manv coming fr.om different parts of the coun- 
try looking for lanld. We had a small cedar raft 
that \ve used in cro.ssing the river. This raft 
would carry the three of us and the dog nicely 
across the ri ver, and we used to fer- 
ry a great In any across both ,'(..ay
, 
and amongst the number we had a 
quiet, pious, middle-aged man, froln Nova 
Scotia, who remained with us during the night. 
The next morning, after breakfast, this gentle- 
m
an wanted to cross over, for he wanted to go 
and see the ne\v To\vnship of Bruce. So I said 
t hat I "\.vonld t
.k.e hitn over, but when \ve came 
ð3 



to the edge of the river he said that he was 
afraid to trust hÜnself upon that raft to <:ross 
that large river. I told him that there was 110t 
the slightest danger, that we crossed and re- 
crossed it, several titnes, almost every day. \vith 
two or three upon that raft, and that if he "Tant- 
ed to get over not to be afraid but get on. and I 
brought the raft up to the edge and hf'" got upon 
it, and got do\vn upon his knees on the raft and 
comlnen':ced to pray. I pushed the raft ofî into 
the stream and I noticed that it was sinking 
very much deeper in the water than usual, and I 
told him that I thought he would be better- 
standing up, for he was getting wet, but he an- 
swered me by saying that he preferred to re- 
main upon his knees, and he continued in this 
posi tion, with his eyes closed, earnestlv engaged 
in prayer, although his end of the raft was sunk 
about a foot under the \vater, and \vhen \ve 
reached dry land, although wet nearly up to 
his waist from kneeling, he thanked me, and 
said that he would never ru'11 the risk of cross- 
ing that river again, for rather than do so he 
would travel bv land all the way to GÔderich 
and get back home by that way. Such all f'ffect 
had that man's mind over his body, caused. by 
fear, that he was like a lump of lead, lnore than 
a man, 


Home Events Continued, Callers and Indians 


I must say that we rather enjoved having- 
strangers calling and conversing "\vith us, for \\.e 
recei ved a good deal of outside inforlnation 111 
61 



that \yay that ,ye ,,'ould not otberwise have 
heard, and SOlne of them \vere greatly pleased 
and delighted \vith the situation and surround- 
ings of our place, and declared that it \vas a 
perfect paradise. \Ve said that no d'dubt but the 
place was all right if \ve only had a few more of 
the comforts of civilization, but we hoped that 
before many' years the conditions would be 
changed for the better. Amongst other visitors, 
and in the \vav of variety, we \vould receive 
calls from the Indians, \vho were often passing 
up and do\vn the river in their canoes, spearing- 
fìsh and shooting ducks, and it was most sur- 
prising to see ho\v expert they were in the man- 
aging of their canoes, for they would dart about 
after the sturgeon at great speed, and the 
squaws '"vere just as q.uick and skilful in Inanag- 
iug the canoes as the men, for they would stand 
".i th a foot 0'11 each side, on the top of the can- 
oe, and dart it about after the fish like a shot, 
,vhile the men \vottld use the spear, and often 
thev \vo,uld get a nJumber of fish \vhich they 
\vottld exchange for bread \vith the settlers \vhen 
they could do so. They used to cOlne up to our 
shanty and sta41d outside, by the door, and 
halloo loudly, and when we wo.uld leave our 
\vork to see \vhat \vas wanted, they would say 
"tobac
o," and when \ve told then1 that we had 
none, as \ve did not use it, they \vould then pat on 
their stomachs, and say "buckity." That meant 
th at they were h/ungry and if we had any bread 
\ve would give them something to eat. They 
"'cre always peaceable and quietly disposed, and 
,,'ould not attelupt to enter if there \vere no one 
65 



around, but \vould soon go a\vay, although the 
door \vas not locked. But they \vere very sus- 
picious of being cheated in their dealings \vi th 
\vhite men, and no doubt but they frequentfv 
sufIered from having been taken advantage of 
in tneir dealings, and to give an idea of 1.o\v cal- 
lous an Indian can becolne, I \vill give an in- 
stance that occurred at that time at the Inouth 
of the Saugeen River. A few young 111en had 
gone out in a boat, and while crossing the river 
near the lake the boat got upset and, \vlIile they 
\vere all struggling in the \vater and calling for 
help, an Indian stood ,vith his canoe on the 
shore near by, and answered back to their pite- 
ous cries for help, "Ho\v Inuch zo give, then 
me go?" For, no doubt, he sa\v a good oppor- 
-tunity at that moment to drive a hard bargain 
\\Tith those who \vere desperately struggling in 
the \vater for life. They \vere rescued by others, 
but little thanks to the Indian, \vho stodd by 
coolly looking on. 
During the fall r ulonths the surveying of Sau- 
geen To\vnship \vas completed, and there \vere 
large numbers of people coming in looking for 
land, and the agent, l\Ir. l\lcN ab, \vas very anx- 
ious to secure the better class of set tIers, and he 
gave every encouragement to such as \vished to 
locate upon land. We had also quite a number 
call upo'n" 'Us in their travels,. and this caused us 
to Inake frequent trips to Solutlhalnpton, in or- 
der to keep up the supply of provisions, and 
w.hile there, at the home of Ca:pt. Spence, \ve 
would have the pleasure of Ineeting \vith such 
old acquaintances as John l\IcLean, Esq., an 
66 



old merchant from Guel\ph, and his nephe\v, l\lr. 
A. McDonald, also l\1r. l\IcN ab, the ag-ent, and 
his so'n, John, a lad of about fourteen, who 
came up from.Toronto during- the August of 1851. 
(An'd I had the ple
ure of m.eeting- him again 
at his own hOllie in Southanl\ptO'll, in Aug-ust, 
1902, and con versed freely \vi th him about old 
times and the gre
t change that has been 
\vroug-ht in the country since we first met, fifty- 
one years ago, and just about as g.reat a change 
has taken place in his apþearan.ce and mine since 
\ve \vere boys then, but now old, w,hi te- haired 
men,) At one of these social meetings at the 
hOllie of Capt. Spence \ve all spoke of our inten- 
ti on to return to our old home before Christ- 
mas, and then we agreed also to meet at Mr. 
Spence's house and all tr
vel tog-ether in com- 
pany from there over to O\ven Sound. But as 
l\lr. l\lcDonald \vas going to Inake SOllie trips 
to Goderich \vith his vessel, we promised to 
await his return to So'UthamiPto.n at the end of 
the sailing season. But he deferred his return 
long be:y011'd the usual tÍ1ne for sailing on the 
lake. 


Incidents of New Settlers, Mr. Gowinlock and the 
Tracks 


I \vill relate an incident that oC.curred shortly 
after our ret11r11 froln Guelph, about this time, 
just to give a little idea of the \vonderful aln- 
ount of confidence and genial kindness and hos- 
pitality that existed amongst the early settlers 
of the country. 


67 



One fine afternoon \\""e noticed a large, he8.ivily- 
laden raft coming do\v.n the river, and to our 
surprise we saw that it \vas being pushed right 

cross to our lan1ding place, and there they com- 
menced to unload, and as \ve did not know . ,,
ho 
the parties \vere, ,ve went to see and asked hÜn 
what he \vas doing, when he said that he had 
latelv selected a lot of land and that he \vas go- 
ing to leave his wife and family with us until 
he cauHi get a house put u,p for themselves, and 
of course \ve could not say nio. This gave us 
the pleasure of entertaining l\'Irs. McLean and her 
twin babies and nurse girl for about a week in 
our small shanty, and strange as it may seem, 
,ve felt no real in'convell1ience, nor \vere we great- 
ly. inconvenienced during their stay ,vith us. This 
Mr. 1\lcLean settled on a fine farm a little east 
of Burg,oine, on (he road to Tara, but I am told 
that he an'd mo;st all of the early settlers of 
those days have passed away, and those \vho 
were brought in with their parents over fifty 
years' ago are now old men and women. 
I will take the liberty of here relating a rath- 
er laughable incident that occurred this fall, just 
shortly after a very heavy fall of snow. I had 
occasion to go up the river one morning to see 
our neighbo.r, l\1-r. G'Û\vinlock, about sOlnething, 
and I foun.d that he was just then making pre- 
parations to go do\vn the river to Southamp- 
ton, and \ve \vere ,,-alking back in conlpany and 
had got about half '\vay to our shanty, when \ve 
came across the trac'ks of some one \vho \vas out 
shooting and walking upon snow shoes. Our 
friend, l\'Ir. Go'\vinlock, had never seen anything 
68 



of the kind before, and \y hen he caIne to the 
tracks he \vas struck \vith amazement and 
alarln at seeing them, and standing still, held 
up his hands \vith this exclamation, "0 the 
the Lord preserve us and \vhat kind of great 
m.utkle beast can that be? 0 I ho,pe that it'll 
no devour us. See the marks of its great big 
feet." And \vhen he saw that I was smiling, he 
said, "Do ye ken \vhat kinld 0' beast it is?" I 
said yes, that it was not a beast, but the frack 
of a man \valking upon Sitl'Ow shoes. He said, 
"Dear me. 'Yell, I \vas \yonderitng that a great 
beast, having feet of t;hat size did not sink much 
deeper in the sno\v." 
Some time about the beginning of November, 
in the year 1851, or near the tÏ111e \vhen this last 
related event took place \vith l\Ir. Go\vinlock 
and the snow shoes, I had been invited to at- 
tend a local temperaJ1ce meeting, \vhich was go- 
ing to be held in Southampton on a certain 
evening- about that time, ani! although our num- 
bers \vere not large, yet it \vas a very social 
gathering. Besides some of the Indians would 
take an interest in the proceedings and give us a 
specÏ1nen of their native oratory, and sing some 
of their temperance songs. In their speeches 
thev \vould tell us of some of the a\vful effects 
that "squitee \vabboo," or fire ,vater, had 
\vroug-hit alnongst their people in the pa
t. 

<\.n.d Just \vhile in the midst of the entertain- 
ll1ent, our \vorthy president, Alexander l\1.c,N ab, 
Esq., land agent, said that he desired to call 
the attention of those present to a most import- 
ant and 'pleasing' event, and it gave him ver

 
69 



great pleasure to be able to introduce to those 
presen t, no less a personage than l\1r. Sim'On 
Orchard, the pioneer of Paisley, ",vho has just ar- 
ri ved amongst us, having driven his oxen and 
sled, or jumper, through the \voods, and as his 
'Nas the first vehicle dra\vn by animals that was 
ever known to arrive in this place it created 
quite a little sensation. l\Ir. Orchard stated 
that it had taken him t\VO days to aocolnplish 
this journey, as he had to slash his \vay through 
the \\
oods ",vith his axe. The sno\y \vas not yet 
much over a foot deep. This seemingly small 
event had nearly the saIne effect upon t\he inihab- 
itants of that time as the arrivHl of a first rail- 
\vay train \vo'uld have at the present day, and 
neither 
re these old events soon forgotten. As 
an install'ce, I hfad t.he pleasure of spending a 
short time \vith my old friends, Captain and 
l\lrs. Spence, in the autumn of 1902, and while 
talking- over old events I was reminded by l\IJrs, 
Spence that l\f,rs. l\feN ab and herself enjoyed 
their first sleigh rïde with me in the early win- 
ter of 1853, a circulnstance I had never thöugtht 
of. But she said that l\irs. l\IcN ab and herself 
often spake \vith great delight of ho\v greatly 
they had enjoyed it. 


Local Events and Regrets 


So \ve con tinned at our new home aJt1.d took up 
the potatoes a'11d disposed of SOlne of them to 
Capt. Spence an:d l\Ir. Brown, ,vho came utp and 
made a raft, anp ",vent do\vn the river \vith the 
potatoes. 1\111". Peter Bro"
n had rem.oved to 


7(1 



Southampton \vith his falnily during the sum- 
mer, and at his house \ve ahvays found a kind 
houle and \Varln \velcome. I nlay also say that 
our cousin, John Cald\vell, \vho had come up 
".i th us and relnained for a time, had selected a 
lot or t\VO and then returned to Pilking-ton \vith 
the intention of cOll1ing back in the spring, but 
he, having- after\vards taken up land in _the ne\v 
To\vnship of l\Iinto, did not return, but dis- 
posed of his claims afterwards to l\1essrs. "-il- 
liatn and Joseph Stirtin. These g-ekltlemen, 
along \vith their brother, John, \vho also settled 
near bv the others, all becalne prominent men 
and lcading farmers in that cOlnmunitv. They 
all camc from near Guelph and ,vere brothers of 
o'ur venerable old Inetnber for South 'VeIling-ton, 
David Stirtin, who still lives and holds the posi- 
tion of postlnaster for the city of Guelph. He is 
no\V a very aged g-entlelnan, and \vas one of the 
first settlers around Guelph. 
l\Iy brother and I. \vere mostly left alone dur- 
ing these short, dark days of fall, and as winter 
aPDroached the \veather g-re\v mOTe disag-reeable. 
Still we contin:ued to underbrush and chop down 
the trecs, u'ntil the sn:o\v became too deep to do 
l11uch outsidc. That season the S1l0\V came very 
earlv and we fou'11d oup:-selves ahntOst entirely cut 
ofT fronl cOlnlnunication on all sides, for the riv- 
er \vas nearly frozen o
er and it wa..
 impassablc! 
o\ving- to the float,ing ice, a1\d nothing could be 
seen but sno\v every\vhere and up.on everything,' 
deep S'l10\V. This had a very depressing and sad- 
dening efIect upon 'Villian1 and I, altld \ve both 
keenly fclt our loncly and isolated condition, 
ïl 



and often regretted 01.17" folly by ever cOIning- to 
such a place. \Ve \vould long for a change, and 
greatly did \ve desire the associations of 1110re 
cheerful companionship, for \ve felt our condi- 
tion to be a verv nlonotonous one. 


Local Events, Preparations for Return, etc. 


Hþ\vever, time passed on, and the day at last 
had con1e when we \vere to leave and go to 
Southampton to meet \vith I those that \ve had 
made an appointment \vith, to meet at the home 
of Capt. Spence, and after \ve' had made all ne- 
cessary preparations for our journey, as \ve did 
n'ot intend returning before spring, \ve started 
to \valk do\rn the banks of the river through the 
deep sno\v, ulltil \ve reached a place in the river 
w,here \ve kne\v the \vater to be deep and j t had 
very little current. This part \ve kne\v to be 
frozen over, and so risked crossing there, and af- 
ter using all precalUtion and carefully picking 
our way, we succeede1d in reaching the opposite 
side in safety, and close to the residcnc.e of .I\tlr. 
Peter Smith. There we heard fTom l\Irs. Smith 
the sad rumDr of the loss of th(" "Sau\:v .J ack , " 
and that Capt. l\l1cDonald and all on hoard of 
her were dro\v't1
d. This intelligence had the ef- 
fect of casting- a gloom of sadness over our al- 
ready depressed spirits, aJnd it required sonIC ef- 
fort to enable us I to make our way through the 
deep and little trodrlen sno\v, through the \\Toods 
to the beach, and \vhen we reached the lake shore 
\ve, fOUJ1d the \vind intensely cold and piercÏtJg. 
There \ve sa\v the marks of a hand-slèig-h, ,,'hich 
72 



had lately passed along to\va:rds SouthalllPton, 
and \vhich \ve soon disc'Overed was taking the 
rem,ains of yoU!ng l\lartinidale, who \vas found 
dro\v'ned in the hold of the vessel. All the others 
seemed to have been "rashed overboard, and 
their bodies were not found 
ntil the ice 111clted 
a\vay in the spring. '1!he crew consisted (so far 
as \vas then known), of the captain and o\vner, 

\Ir. A. l\IcDonald, and the t\VO brothers l\Iartin- 
dale, \vho came do\vn the river in our sCO\V with 
us in the spring, and they each, I understood, 
left young wido\vs an/d small families. The cir- 
cumstances were so exceedingly sad that it had 
a serious effect U;p,o,11 the small community in 
every \vay, for the vessel \vas returning fr 0111 
Goderioh very late ill the season, and was ladE'n 
\vith flour and all other supplies that \vere re- 
quired for the inhabitants of Southampton dur- 
ing the \vinter. The vessel, it appears, had been 
com.pletely overtuTned by the storm, as her sails 
were fO,u;nd to be \vOUJ1d all around her, and ev- 
ervthing aboard of her \vas \vashed a\vay, and 
at this tinle' all their provisions in SouthanliPton 
had bee
 consumed, and they were all patiently 
awaiting- the arrival of this long-delayed boat 
for fresh supplies. You may imag-ine the con- 
sternation and alarm caused by this sad ca tas- 
trophe. I was told that our friend, l\'lr. l\IcDon- 
ald, had remained mulch longer in Goderich than 
\vas prudent at this season of the year. But 
there ,,-as an election in the COUllty of Hrurdn 
going- on at the time and so anxious ,vas he to 
assist his friend, the Hon. l\1alcoltll Cailleron, In 
his election that he had neglected to return In 
n 



proper season)and thus it ended \vith such serious 
results to so mally) for all were concerned) for 
there ""'as no \vav of getting any m,'Ore sup!{Jlies 
during the winter but by packing it across by 
the trail through the \v.oods from d\ven Sound, 
and this, at that time, would have been a hope- 
less job, for, o\ving to the deep fall of sno\v, 
there had been n!o COlnlTIUnication \vith O\ven 
Sound for some \veeks. 
,,"hen \ve rea,ched Southau1pton it \vas not SUI- 
Plrising to' see thaJ everyone was \vearing a 
very melattcholy cottntenall'ce, anti had a sad 
look) arud \ve also met quite a number of young 
men a\vaiting our arrival and \vanting to pro- 
ceed at once aCl10ss to the Sound, and although 
they kne,,'" that there had been no travel, nor 
any path to guide their \vay through this great 
forest covered \vith deep) untrotlden sno\v, yet) 
o\ving to the sad misfortUne that had just hap- 
pened in the loss of the vessel containing all the 
supplies, it made it expedient that \ve should 
depart at once. So, uppn the follo\ving 1110nm- 
ing, six brave, stout-hearted young men, sup- 
plied only \vith a biscuit or t\VO each, started to 
. cross the river in a large ca;noe o\vned by Alex. 
Butchart, and after several very close shaves 
frotH being upset by the large quantity of float- 
ing ice that \vas then at the In.outh of the river, 
they ultÍ1nately S'uccee
ed in reaching the other 
side, \vhen they then c.ommenced their perilous, 
long journey through the woods,and as nearly as 
I can relnember the party consisted of six you.ng 
Inen, l\Iessrs. Geo'rge Gray, 'Villiam Kennedy, 
Thos. Burgess, Clenlent Ceifect, and a IVIr. l\lill- 
74 



\vood and Silverthorne. These poor fello\vs 
found a hard road to travel. l\1r. l\IcN ab, ,,"h:o 
\\"as not quite ready to start \vitIl the others in 
the morning, prevailed upon me to remain \vi th 
him until the afternoon, \vhen \ve \vould all 
c;ross the river and go as far up as the Indian 
village, and relnain at the house of l\lr. Cathay 
for the night. 
So, early in 'the afterno,on, \ve, that is to say, 
l\Ir. l\IcN ab and his son, John, l\Ir. Chishohl1 
l\Iillar, the surveyor, ,,'ho had been surveying 
the To,,
nship of BI'\uce, and lnyself, were accom- 
panied to the river's edge by many friends \v./ho 
\"ere solicitous about our getting safely across 
o\ving to the alnoupt of floating ice, \vhich lllade 
the passage aver very dangerous, and the boat 
that \vas being used \vas a vcry sillall one and 
could not carry us all over in one trip. So 
Captain Spence anti l\Ir. Reid, \vho had charg:e 
of the boat, asked l\Ir. l\l(cN ab and John to g:et 
in and they \vould take thell1 over first, and 
thcn return for l\Ir. l\1illar and ll1e. After cau- 
tiously pushing- their \vay through the ice and 
using son1e exertion in their efIorts, thev reach- 
ed the other side, \vhere l\Ir. !.\IcN ab and J.ohn 
remained, an"d also Capt. Spen_ce, \vho had been 
rather tln\vell for some days, fclt the exertion 
required in the 111anag-ing of the boat rather hard 
upon hitn, and so 1\I.r. Reid volunteered to bring 
back the boat for l\Ir. l\Iillar and n1e. But \vhen 
he got back into the s\vift CUTrent aillongst the 
ice he scenled to have lost all control of the 
boat, and kept going- arolu-rd and around \vith 
the ice and \vas being carried right into the 
75 



lake, \vhile Capt. Spence, \vl?-o sa\v the eminent- 
ly dangerous condition of affairs, kept pace with 
the boat do\vn the river's edge, and at the en- 
trance into the lake there had formed a jam of 
ice, \vhere fortunately l\Ir. Reid managed to 
get in antd Ca;pt. Spen,ce, ,varking out upon the 
ice, reached the boat and succeeded in getting 
into her, \vhen he soon brought her over to us 
again. But \vhile all this was going on we were 
all standing on tl\e opposite shore po\verless and 
speechless, ,vith our hearts in our nlQuths, and 
I confess that I \vas trembling \vi th fear frotH 
head to foot, for when I entered that little boat 
I scarcely expected ever to reach the other side. 
So \vhen lVlr. l\Iillar and I got seated in the boat 
it \\Tas ,vith much misgiving Qn my part, and 
,vhen \ve had gotten out into the middle of the 
ri ver and amongst the flo\v of ice, one of the 
ro\vlocks gave way and the boat became un- 
manageable, and I then felt sure that our end 
had come and that was just \vhat I expected 
would happen, for \ve ,vere being carried rapidly 
do\vn into the lake. 
So near \vere \ve that \vhen the surf of the lake 
struck our little boat the water \vould dash all 
over us and \vauld soon have filled the boat, 
\vhen 1\1r. l\Iillar with great presence of mind 
got do\vn and lay in . the bottom of the boat and 
secured the bolt that had dropped out, put it 
back into its place, and lay there and held it in 
place. This enabled Capt. Spence to g,uide and 
control the boat to the opposite shore, ,vhich \ve 
at length reached anti landed upon the quickly 
forming ice, \vhen Capt. Spence, taking- the lead, 
76 



safely g-uided us to the edge, where we \vere 
joined by l\1r. McNab and John, who had closely 
\vatched us through the distressing circumstances 
by which \v'e \vere surrounded. So, after bid
ing 
each other a parting fare\vell, Capt. Spence and 
l\Ir. Reid returned to Southampton, and we 
four pursued our way up the river banks to the 
Indian village, and to the house of Mr. Cathay, 
where we \vere kindly received and entertained 
for the night. 
As l\Ir. .:\I(cN ab had previously engag-ed t\VO 
men to carryover his packs to O\ven Sound this 
made our number up to six also, the same as 
had passed along- in the morning. 
.....\fter spending- a pleasaJnt evening \vith l\lr. 
and l\Irs. Cathay, upon the next lTIorning-, after 
partaking of an early breakfast, \ve six started 
on our journey, follo\ving closely in the foot.- 
steps of the six who ha:d passed along the nlorn- 
ing- before us. N ot\vithstantling that we had 
the advantag-e of a partly broken path, we made 
but slo\v prog-ress anp. found the tra:velling- very 
fatiguing and OiUr yo;utn.g friend, J oh/11, had the 
misfortune of getting his feet wet very frequent- 
ly, for in crossing o,ver creeks or other \vet 
places he \vould be sure to slip into them and 
get \vet. A.lthough his father had a good supply 
of dry stockings along in the packs, yet it \vas 
no pleas
t utn:derta'king to sit do\vn in: the deep 
S1l0\V an(l put on d!ry ones, \vhich he very fre- 
quentlv had to do. This young gentleman \vas 
scar.cely fifteen years of age and had been ten- 
derly broug.ht up in the citv of Toro.nto, and 
"as quite unaccustolned to endure hardships of 
77 



any kind, so before noon, and after \ve had trav- 
elled several miles throug-h the sno\v, John got 
so tired that he became almost powerless, and 
seemed to lose all cOl1trol O'iVer his legs, and 
\\'outd sliþ into every conceivable place of dan- 
ger. \Ye tried to render all possible assistan
e, 
but we found it very diffi'üult to do much, 'Hving 
to the great depth of sno\v an(d the narrowness 
of the path, and this stop.ping so often to change 
stockings caused some delay and hindered us 
luuch in our journey. But his father displayed 
SO Inuch real patience and kindness with John 
that l\lr. l\lillar and I felt heartily sorry for 
theIn, and Inore es.pecially when' John would 
plead .with his father and all of us to go 011 and 
leave him there, for he neVer \vould get throu:{h 
and it was useless for us t'Û sacrifi'ce our lives in 
order
to try and save him. Of course \ve did not 
listen to such talk and only put forth the great- 
er efIorts to help him, and abo!ut t\VO 0' clock, 
just a short tÜne after we crossed the Sobble 
River, \ve came upon a spot \vhere there had 
been a fire very lately, and I said to l\1r. l\IcN ab 
and the others that I \vas I sure froln the appear- 
ance of the place and froln the \vay that the 
s\t10\V \vas stam\ped and tracked about that the 
six poor fello\vs \vho started a day before us 
,,-ere here last night, \v,hen l\Ir. .:\fcN ab replied, 
"0, for God's sake, do not say so." I said that 
I hoped that I might bel mistaken, but I \vas 
verv much afraid that it \vO'uld only pro\Te to 
J 
be too true. 
So \ve continued our slow march, l\lr. lVlillar 
and I rendering every possible assistance to Mr. 
7R 



,J ohn, for he had by this time become nearly 
quite helpless, and we tried every way to help 
hitn along. I tried to carry him u'Pp}h my back, 
but the S1l0\V \vas so deep al1;d the path so very 
narrow, and John had no po\ver or cotntrol over 
his leg-s to keep them turned 'Up out of the sno\v, 
but allo\ved them to hang do\vn on eaJch side of 
me, and make t\VO deep ruts in the sno\v like 
t\VO st.icks, so I had to give up this m
thod of 
conveyance and trv some easier mope of aCCOl11.- 
plishing- nlY purpose. H,aving around lne a long 
sash or cravat I tied it across my shoulders and 
gave hÏ1n the ends to hold on by and his father 
\vould \valk behind him and steady hin1 up. \Ve 
manag-ed by that way to make a little progress, 
but at short intervals he \vould let himself d'rop 
do\vn into the sno\v and almost draw lne upon 
the td.p of him, anli after about t\VO hours of 
this process I becalne exceeding Iv. tired and said 
that \ve might :just as well give up all hopes of 
getting throug-h to-night as we were very little 
Inore t.han half \v,ay, and if IVlr. l\Iillar \vould 
take IllV place and assist lVlr. l\'IcNab that I 
\vould hasten fox\vard and pTepare some place 
"\vhere \ve could remain for the nig-ht, and short- 
ly after \ve inade this arra
gement, I started 
for\var,d at a more rapid pace and ha.d not gone 
vcry far before I overtook l\Ir. l\I.cNab's two 
1l1en, \vho carried his packs, \VhOln I soon passed. 
I tûtd theln \vhat I \vas going to do, and short- 
ly after\varcls I caIne upon a place \vhere the 
track of those \vho hat! preceded us branched off 
into diITerent directions. I co;Uld see that they 
had lost their \vay and that they"had becolne 
79 



confused, but pursuing \vhat I thought to be 
the Inost direct line I soon caIne to a place 
"\v here the tra'Cks ha
 all u;l1i ted again in to one 
path, and I C'ould see also that the tracks \vere 
very fresh and that I \vas getting very' close up- 
on the first paæty, so I did not stop as I intend- 
ed doing, to erect a place of shelter, but pressed 
on, for it was now getting dark and I soon sa\v 
at a little distance ahead a gleam of lig
ht, and 
in a fe\v min:utes mpre I came upon the first 
party of six. They had rcached a deserted shan- 
tv that had been put up durimg the summer. 
This they had taken ppssession of and they \vere 
trving to put thetnselves into the best position 
available under such cirCulnstances, but I can- 
not say that any of them looked .happy or con- 
tented, nor \vere they in the lnost agreeable 
state of disposition or telnper, for, after t\VO 
days' tramping in the deep snow without food, 
their suffering may be conceived. 
After giving and recei vÍng some explanations 
regarding our several cbnditions, I asked for 
some one of them to g.o back with me and try 
to assist for\vard those still behind us up to this 
place, but no one felt able or \villing to do so, 
they ,vere all so tired 011 t and hungry that they 
could not stir. But after a g,ood deal of plead- 
ing \vith them, 'f1hos. Burgess at length cons
nt- 
ed to accompany me bac-k. After walking some 
distance and hallooing frequently \\ye at last got 
a reply, and then thre\v ourselves down in the 
snow a!11'd awai ted their slow arrival. These 
turned on t to be M:r. l\IüN ab' s two men \vi th his 
packs. They said that as they did not see any- 
thing more of me after I had passed them, al- 
80 



though they had travelled until it got dark, they 
had thro\vn themselves do\vn in the sno\V and in- 
tended to remain there for the night. But when 
they heard us shouting they got up and caIne 
for\vard, although they hald neither heard nor 
seen anything of the remainder of our party 
since I had passed theln. So then l\1r. B'urgess 
and I went back \vith theln to the shanty, a.nd 
after relnaining there for about an hour I again 
prevaile'd upon 
1T. Burgess to accolnpany me 
back once mo.re to see and bring in the missing 
ones of our party, and so we travelled slowly 
back again over the same path. We kept giving 
an dccasional shQut as we travelled in hope of 
receiving an ans\ver, but \ve had to go back some 
distance befoTe \ve got any reply. But when we 
did get Qne \ve again thTew ourselves down In 
the S110'V, intending to remain \vhere \ve were 
until they came up to us, but they kept up such 
a continuous halloo and shouting that \ve were 
forced to get up and gJo an'd meet them, and I 
n111st say that they were needing some help, for 
both their strength and patience ,vere nearly ex- 
hausted, so I relieved l\lr. l\1illar of any further 
duties for the present, so that he an;d Mr. Bur- 
gess then at once started for the shanty, leav- 
ing me to assist John. I tied my comforter 
arouI1d my shoulder again, and by this meél!ns, 
\\Tith "the assistance of his father, we reached the 
shanty before midnight, \vhere we found the oth- 
ers already all h'uddled up in a mixed heap., each 
one trying to lnake the best thing possible out 
of it, u'n'der all the CirC'tllnstances. So l\Ir. 1\1c- 
Xab opened out his pack and took out a rug a
nd 

l 



a buffalo robe, \vhidh he shared \vith some of us. 
Thus w
 passed the night, and \vhen daylight 
began to appear we al1 made ready for an early 
start, and as \ve did not wait for brea.kfast \ve 
soon got ready for the tralnp, \vhere !VI!'. l\lillar 
and I \vere expected to take the lead in doing 
the first breaking- up of a path, as many of the 
others had already had t\VO days of the experi- 
ence 
n.d \v.ere used 1W and unable to take any 
more, an active part in the performance. So as 
soon as it \vas light enough to see the \vay we 
set off, taking- each our turn, in opening a 
path through the deep trackless snow, and the 
others follo\ving- us in single, file, and \vhen the 
leader became exhausted he \vould drop to one 
side am,ongst the sno\v, and the next \vould take 
the leaíd, but by this time there \vere not m.ore 
than one or t\VO that had strength enough left 
to force their \vay through the deep sno\v, and 
so they ahvays stayed in the rear. I relnember 
on one occasion I was taking the lead and 
\\'e \vere passing through a long swaillp and ev- 
erything \vas so deeply covered with sno\y that 
no sign of any path was to be seen, \vhen all at 
olnce I sank down to the neck amo
g,St brrush. I 
had got upon the top of some fallen tree. l\Ir.lVI:il- 
lar, who was close behind me, turned a little to 
one side a
 by that Ineans escaped falling into 
the same trap upon to'p of me. 
However I soon m:anaged to extricate myself 
and regain the proper path, and thus we journey- 
ed on in comparative silence. You may imagine 
our joy and delight when about one o':clock \ye 
sa\v a clearrng and called out to eac>h other to 
:;2 



take courage for here is a clearing, and this 
ne\vs put new energy into the hearts of the poor, 
despairing ones, for the Inost of them had beg-un 
to despair of evelr getting o.ut of the WiOo'd:S. In 
a short time we reached the home of MJ:". Jimby, 
but found o.nly Mrs. Jimby and children at the 
house. We soon tllade our condition known and 
she hastened at once to prepare food. The 
:\Iessrs. JÏ1nby had gone down with two yoke of 
oxen and a sleigh that m,orning to Owen Sound, 
in order to break a track through the deep sno\v, 
for there had been no travel since the heavy 
sno\v storm. \Ve felt a li ttle disap- 
pointed at this information, as we had fully in- 
tcnded \v:hen \ve reached l\lr. Jim by's to engage 
hitn to take us all to O\ven SoU!nd with his oxen 
and sleigh. BÙt the benefit of having the road 
broken with the cattle and sleigh would be of 
.g-reat help to us in the latter part of our jour- 
ney. l\rrs. Jimby soon ha'd a quantity of pork 
fried and bread and tea prepared, but \\Te Inade 
up a rather larg-e company to be waited up- 
on all at o'nce, and l\Ir. McNab in his n1ag-aani- 
Inous way suggested that those of the first 
party be attended to ,first, as they had been the 
long-est without food. Yo:u may be assured that 

1rs. Jimby had no tÌ1ne to lose for it kept Jler 
very busy for son1e tin1e cutting- bread, frying 
Ineat and pouring- tea into cups, and after we 
had all Rotten our immediate \vants supplied 
l\Ir. McNab asked to be permitted to remUllèrate 
in a slight Ineasure l\Irs. J imby for the bountiful 
supper she had so quickly pr-epared for us in our 
extrell1Ït Y. As it \vas \vearing to".ards ('yening 
83 



and \\ye had yet five lniles more of a jouL"ney to 
Inake before \ve reached the Sound, \ve all set off 
upon the last stage of our travel and \,
e found it 
very much easier to \valk after getting , SOlne din- 
ner and also froln the track of the oxen and 
sleigh in the morning, and when we had gone 
about half \vay we met Messrs. J imby on their 
return from Owen Sound, whia11 had the cHect 
of still fU'rther improving our path, so, after our 
hard experience, "\ve all reached the Sound at 
last, anJd thankful were we to find ourselves once 
m'Ore within the comf'oirtable hostelry of our old 
frien!d, l\Ir. Cürbet. After a short rest \ve all 
made preparations for pUTsruing the remaining 
part of our journey to! our several hOlnes, some 
by stage or other m'ddes of conveyance, and thus 
"\ve paTteld, all hoping to lneet again in the near 
future under more pleasant circumstances. In a 
few days more 'w"e reached our old home near 
Guelph, the day before Christmas, and \vere 
gladly \velcoméd back by dur friends and ac- 
quainta;nces, and thus ende'd our first year, \vith 
much of the experience of what a pioneer life 
means in the early settlement of the ne\v coun- 
. try, in the County of Bruce, in the year 185 I. 


Making Preparations for Returning 


:For the \vinter and early spring of 1852 
\ve rem,ained at our old h0111e an'd greatly did \ve 
relish anld appreciate the change of conditions. 
...L\ll this m.ade us feel that there \vas no place 
hke home. It \vas so' very different froln what 
\ve had so lately experienced in every' \vay, for 
84 



here \ve \\'ere agaIn invited to taste 
of the cOlnforts of life and to take 
a part in llIanv of the pleasu,res and 
enjoYlnents of the happy social gatherings 
so fruscinating to our youthful minds. There is 
no doubt at all but \ve ha'd Qur future plal1s al- 
ready formed about all these things, but the 
time for their fruition ha.d not yet come, but \ve 
hO'ped' soon to be able to erect cOlnfortable 
hOltlses at our ne\v homes, and then \ve \vo
lld be 
prepared to carty out our lnuc.h c1herished . de- 
sires to their fullest' con1'pletion, and no doubt 
but \ve sOlnetimes also built castles in the air 
\y'hic'h never matured, for \ve had, li,ke others, 
to c,otnten'd' \\Tith many of the disapp'ointments to 
\vhich flesh is heir in this life. 
In this \vav \ve passed the months of \vinter, 
but at the saIne' time \ve were ahvays looking 
for\vard to and \vere lnaking full preparatio.ns 
for our retuxn in the spring. I had secured a 
very good yoke of oxen and a CO\V 
by exchanging a good, young horse and 
SOlne harness for theln. These \vere 
thing-s that I did not at present. require, so 
I had to delay IllY return until the beginning of 
the nlonth of l\1ay, for ,ve hoped that by that 
tÏ1ne the \\-oorls \vould provide pasture for the 
cattle in the shape of leaks and CO\\T-cabbage, 
\\-hich gro\v in abundance every,vhere in spring-. 
\Yillialn had returned SOlne \veeks before, and 
\vhen he arrived at Sa'ugeen and told our neigh- 
bor, 1\1):'. \Vallace, that I \vas \vai ting to bring 
up SOllIe cattle, l\Ir. \Yallace said that he ".as 
needing SOllIe also, and that he \vould go to 
85 



Guelph and meet n1e there and \ve could drive 
them together, and so \ve could assist each oth- 
er on the way. In good time l\1r. \Vallace came 
to Guelph and met me there and so:on after- 
wards purchased what cattle he required. I think 
that he bought a yoke of steers and t\VO CO\vs. 
and just about this titne IVlr. James Sc.ott, froln 
near the \Vaterloo line, came to see me, a!l1d 
said that he wanted to go up with me and take 
u)p land at the Saugeen, and that he wished to 
accon1pany us and assist in driving the cattle. 
So, in a short time, we had lnade all necessary 
preparations for our j01.1rney. Our herd com- 
prised eight head in all, t\VO yoke of oxen and 
four CO\vs. Mr. \Vallace and I each had the same 
nUlnber. It was in the beginning of l\Iav \vhen 
we again set off on O1Ur long journey up to a 
ne\v country, but we made very slo\v progress in 
Ol1r nlarch, for the CO\Vs that 1\1.1'". W'allace had 
got \vere in a very poor, lean condition and quite 
unfit to travel such a long distance, 
for \ve had not gone more than a 
day or t\VO \vhen one of them show- 
ed signs of great fatigue froln the contin- 
uous toiling, and she ,,
ould lay do\vn on the 
roadsi'd
 frequently to take a rest, so we had 
ju
t patiently to wait with her until she felt dis- 
posed to rise up and \valk, a)1d this was alw"ays 
trying to our patience, as \ve were all exceeding- 
ly anxious to m10ve 0\11, for we fo'U;n1d the wavside 
inn accomn1\od,ati\o!n to he of a most u'11pesirable 
kind. I will just describe a few instances as a 
sample of ma1ny. I do not kno\v w / hetJ1er there 
were any liceltses granted to sell liquor in thlose 
86 



days or not, but the places \vhere such \vas sold 
\vere very plentiful all along the ro
d. I re- 
mem ber j'Ust on the top of the bank before cross- 
ing the river at \vhat is no\v IVIO:unt Forest there 
\vas a small log- house \vhich ,had a sign of a bot- 
tle ahd a glass, made by a. coal upon a pie.ce of 
board, \v hich \Va'S nailed up just over the door, 
and many of those places had 11'0' conve;niences 
or accolnmodation for travellers, yet IVlr. Scott, 


o as to pass off the time during our freq:uent 
delays, \vould g-o i'nto some of them a,nd patron- 
ize their establis1hments by indulging to a limit- 
ed extent, \vhen l\Ir. \Vallace \vould use his 
po\vers of persuasion to dissuade him from snch 
a practice. But IVrr. Scott got a go.od joke upon 
hÜn, for as \ve \vere moving slo\vly along the 
road one evening near by the To\vnship of Sulli- 
van and just close by, the side of the road tthere 
stood a very slnall shan tv, \vhich had a sign up- 
0'11 it \vith this in.scription written, "\Vhiskey 
sold here by the \vholesale," and just at this 
place 
-Ir. \Vallace's poor CO\V laid do\yn and re- 
fused to go amy further. As it \vas getting- to- 
\yards night l\Ir. Scott and I had to push on 
\vith the retnainder of the cattle until \ve could 
reaCh SOllIe more comm'odious quarters, so after 
going- about a mile further \ve came to another 
inn, and there \ve enquired if they ha'd any hay 
for our cattle, and also if they could accommo- 
date us \vith supper and beds. \Ve received an- 
S\Vers i11 the affirnlative, and \vhen \ve got the 
cattle put up for the nig,ht and went into the 
house for supper, I assure you it \vas a very 
p'rÏtnitive looking: place, for as yet there \vere n.o 
87 



partitions in the h.01lse, a
d aTo'U
ld the chitu- 
ney corners of the large fire place there \vas \vhat 
\ve used to call a grist, that is to 
say, sever.al bags of flour and bran 
which had been lately brought fr0111 the 
mill, and these bags of flour "\\
ere be- 
ing usefd for seats near the fire place. 
L\s \ve en- 
tered the house \ve saw t\VO \VOlUen; one \vas 
quite busy preparing supper for us, and the oth- 
er was sitting u,p,an one of the bags of flO'ux, ap- 
parently soundly sleeping. But presentlv she 
a\voke anti began to chatter a\vay to herself, and 
this made the other \voman feel ashamed, and 
she came and took her a\vay outsi'de for a \vhile. 
But I noticed \vhen she got up that the bag of 
flo
ur upon \vhich she had been sitting and also 
upon the floor it was quite \vet. This sig,ht had 
the effect of spoiling my su'pper that nig{ht, but 
it is quite pQssible that she h
d spilt either tea 
or tod'dy upon herself. \Ve spent a short titne 
afterwards in common conversation and were 
then sho\vn up the ladTder to the loft, a11:d there 
we found a very pOOT, hard bed, but such incid- 
ents \vere nothing unusual in those days, so next 
moming we took breakfast and a\vai ted l\Ir. 
\V all ace ' s arri v:al \vi t,h his lea,n CO\v. Then l\I;r. 
Scott tolrd l\lr. \Vall/ace that he need never sav 
anything l11jore to him about going into taverns 
to drink, for he had sho\vn that nothing \vould 
satisfy. him but staying at a place \vhere wihis- 
key c.duld be bought "\vholesale, but he, ll.\Ir. 
Scott, onlv occasionally bought it by the glass 
at retail prices. And then \ve soon got sta;rted 
off again at a slo\v pace and cOllti'nued utntil \ye 
88 



reaohed \vithin a few miles of O\ven Sound, \vhen 
\ve tUTned in through the Township of Derby by 
the new line of road, near a place that \vas call- 
ed Ingles IVlills, and through places that are 
1l0\Y called 1
ara and Burgoyne, and froll1 
there t.hrough to the Saugeen Ri \-er, 
\vhiüh \ve reachefd after several long, \veary days 
of travel, \v,hich \ve fournd very often to be very 
trying to our patien,ce \vhen cOlupelled to endure 
so lnany enforced delays. 


Changes in the Country 


Upon our return frotn Guelph \ve found that 
since the completion of the survey of the to\vn- 
ship that there \\-ere nUlllbers of ne\v settlers 
cOIning into the place, and a1nO
lgst some of 
t110se that I relneln ber \vere l\Iessrs. J ahn and 
Tholnas Slnith, brothers of l\Ir. Peter Sluith, 
and also the l\lessrs. Bell, l\IcGillivray, Pilgrilll, 
Goble, Parish and l\IcLea'11 and some others 
\vh'ose nan1es I have forg,otten at the present, 
and some of those \vho had gone back to their 
old hon1es in the fall did not return in the 
spring, and thcir places had been taken posses- 
sion of bv ne\v ClÜlllcrs, and sonle hail left their 
farllls an(d 
one do\vn to thc village dttring the 
\vinter, and then had settled there, for by this 
tÏ1nc lllallV of the most desirable lots had been 
taken up and, in a few cases, there arose sonle 
disputcs regarding prior claitns. But they \vere 
m-ostlv ahvavs quickly settled \\-itholUt causing 
Inl1C'h trouble. 

Ir. Scott, \vh'o caIne up \vith IHC, ,,-or'kcd for 
89 



a 1110nth or t\VO \vith us, helping to log and 
clear up the land for spring crops, ank! then he 
selected a lot for himself do\vn the river a fe\v 
miles, and after he got a house erected iu due 
time he got his family moved up and became 
a resIdent of that ne\v country. I must not oluit 
to relate am. event that occurred during !Vir. 
Scott's stay \vith us. About this time \ve had 
religious services hel'd in a fe\v of the houses by 
the lV1eth:o'dist minister, IVlr. H;utc,hinson, and a 
stuHent f
otn Knox Presbyterian College, To- 
rO'11to, and I \vas appointed the collector an,d 
treasuit'er, anld l\1r. Scott, who had rather too 
m'uch conceit regarding his ability as a singer 
or leader of psalmo'dy, \vas appointed precentor 
in the Presbyterian meetings, and these tneet- 
ings \yere ge:nerally pretty well attended by all 
the settlers that \vere near, or that co.uld by any 
means attend such services, for the greatest of 
harl11Jony prevailed amongst the different sects. 
But according- to the denomination of ,the preach- 
er, the singing "
as usually led by one of the 
sallIe persuasion, and it so h ap'pened upon one 
occasion \.vhen l\Ir. I-I u tchinson was ofiiciating 
that his leader, l\lr. \ViUiam Cunning/haln, was 
disabled from the efIects of a cold, and as Mr. 
Scott \vas present he \vas asked to lead in the 
singing during the service. l\ir. Scott, \vithout 
lnnch hesitatiQ1l, consented, \vhen l\1r. H'utchin- 
son very C'onsi'derately, and in order to Inake it 
easier for l\Ir. Scott, gave out the 23-rrl psalm, 
instead of a hymn, an(l so Mr. Scott, feeling the 
responsibility and importance of the position, 
heo-an \vith his favorite old tune of Be] erIna, and 

 
90 



he had not gone very far before he \vas assisted 
by l\lr. Cunning-ham, \vho \vas sitting beside 
hitn, and started off in the new quick style, \vhile 
l\1r. Sc.ott continued in the old, slo\v fashion, so 
that \vhen J\Ir. C. \vas at the end of the verse 
l\rr. S. \\-as only about half way. This made a 
great discord of so'Un:ds and so they stopped and 
ma;de a ne,v start from the beginning, and this 
time it \\Tas even \vQrse than the first attempt, 
for by this time l\fr. Scott was gettirng quite 
nervoltls and tremulO11s of voice. 'Vhen he m;ade 
the third attempt he got as far as "The Loord 
is my shepherd," \vhen he fairly broke down, 
\\yith the exclamation, "I cannot manage it. I 
am fairly beat," when the minister said, , 'Never 
mind. Let ulS pray," and as soon as the meet- 
ing \\Tas closed for that day l\lr. Scott \vas out 
and oft like a reindeer, and never stopped to say 
good day to anyone. I never heard hiIn men- 
tion his singing after that day. I may also say 
that my Sabbath collections during the season 
only amo1.1nted to something like four dollars, 
for it \yas not usual to donate more than a cop- 
per at each collection, a.nd these preachjngs were 
cond.ucted, both in village and country, wherever 
there ,vas a house large enough to accon1!llpdate 
a fe\\T people, and everyone \\Tas anxious to do 
all in their power to assist in making the ser- 
vices both pleasant and profitable, and besides 
this there ,vas a very strong tell1perance senti- 
111ent in the eommulnity an1;ong.st the leading 
class of the pedple. The agent, l\Ir.! Alexander 
l\lcN ab, \\.as decidedly a strong leader of tem- 
perance, and he gave every possible encouTag:e- 
91 



ment to all good settlers of that cla:ss,
d al- 
thoug-h all ,,-ere not strict teetotallers, yet he 
secured a very desi:rable class of settlers for Sau- 
geen and the su'rro'unding to\vnshi ps, $1,d the 
fruit
 of their indTIstry and perseverance are very 
visible to this day, as seen in their fine, \vell- 
cleared up farms and substantial houses and 
ba,rns. In the \vay of advancement and intelli- 
gence the County of Bruce has not Inamy equals. 
A n1.1mber of the inh'abitants are of Germ:
 and 
Scotch des'cent, and I am told that many 
,vho caIne i}l1to the county fùrty or fifty years 
ago and \vere then not \vorth more than forty or 
fifty dollars, are n'ow \vorth as many thousands. 
So there ,vas a continuous, stea'dy progress 
ma'de in the way of settlement and especially 
along the three leading roads, such as the Goder- 
ich Tloarl, \vaÜc1h ru',ns through the To\v:nships of 
Saugeen and Bru'ce a little dista'11ce from the 
lake shore, and right through the centre of the 
village of P'ort Elgin. A.ll this part \vas quick1 \Y 
settle'd and cOlnlprised a line section of cou:ntry. 
The next an'd most Ï1nportant line that \vas 
q'Uickly settled \\Tas. what \vas kno\vll as the 
Elora ò and Saugeen road. This runs through a 
splendid large section of farlning coutn try, be- 
sides it passes thh-ough many important to\vns, 
such as \Valkerton, Paisley, and some others of 
a little slnaller dimension. I \vell remember the 
anxiety that was displayed by many to secure 
lots upon this line. Our old friend, the Rev. Dr. 
R. TOTrance of Guelph, had asked us to secure 
him some lots and \ve selected a fine, tra:ct of 
land upon this road for hitn. I believe that 
9:l 



shortly after\vards these same lots becalnc the 
.J 
property of l\Iessrs. Craig, who still retain pos- 
session of t'hem. 
The third impo'rtant line of road \-vas that run- 
ning through the Townships of Arran and Der- 
by to. the O\ven Sound road. Tþis was opened 
earl:v in 1852 and several settled that season up- 
on it all along by 1nverm,ay and Tara, but es- 
pecially near by the C'orners, that is called Bur- 
goyne, there is a splendid settlement of well-to- 
do farmers, \vho have óeen settled there for 
mapy years. There is a( Presbyterian church at 
Burgovne of considerable dimensions, and in 
\\-,hicl1 the'Rev. WIr. Tolmie offi'ciated for a great 
many years, for this is indeed a fine section of 
country for several miles around, and is settled 
by a superiior class of farm,ers. I think that 
then
 is also, a good large l\Iethodist church in 
this place, but I have been a great many years 
absent from these parts and, therefore, will not 
attempt to further describe then1, but \vill con- 
fine my remarks to events that occurred in the 
days of the early settlement of the cou.ntry, and 
\vith \vhich I \-vas III ore immediately concerned. 
I \vill here relate an incident that very closely 
concerned lllvseH. It \-vas some titne about the 
middle of J u.ne, in the year 1852. 'fhere came 
an exceedinglv g
eat rain, causing the river to 
overf1o". its banks lllanv feet, and it \vas con1Ïng 
do)vn a rushing, ll1Ïghtv strealu, so \Villialn and 
I thought the ground a little too wet to 
,,-ork upon pleasantly, and as \ve \vere needing 
some supplies of provisions, ,,-e \-vould elnbrace 
the opportuuitv of going- do\\-n to Southampton 
9:
 



to get SOlne. \, e, as usual, took our little raft 
and crossed the river, an1d after m_aking it fast, 
\ye \valked clown the river's edge u71til \ve caUIe 
to our neig:hbor, l\1:r. \V'allace's, place, \vhere \\
e 
found him very busily engaged in cutting down 
an:d getting rid of all the timber that was \vith- 
in reaoh of the water's edge, for as soon as it 
fell into the river it was carried a\vay, boYlY 
and bra}nches, anld by that mea,ns he \vas getting 
a .piece of land cleared u1p wit;Ilout much 
trouble, and as he \vas very anxious to get a 
piece of g-round ready to SO\v with turnips, he 
asked a's a favor if one of us cou1'd not remain 
and assist him t1hat day, as he wished to take 
advalntage of the rise in the river. I consented 
to remain and help him with this \v.ark and Wil- 
liam \vent O'n to the village alo.ne. And it so 
happened that there \vas a very large basswood 
tree w\hic'h we felled into the river, but it was 
too far from the water to be carried right a\vay. 
So l\Ir. Wallace and I tried to get it pushed off, 
but we were not able to do so, when l\Ir. \V. 
said that he wOlul'd yoke up his steers and per- 
haps they could müve it, which \vO'uld be much 
easier for us than lifting so heavily, and also 
that the cattle might be required much oftener 
no\v that the trees were further from the river. 
So in course of a little time l\lr. \Vallace came 
along with his oxen, which I must say \vere very 
untractable and unaücustomed to the yoke, and 
hard to manage. But in tÜne \ve succeeded in 
getting the chain hitched around the butt end of 
this big bass\vood tree, and, no sooner \vere the 
oxen attached to it, than they 11lade a rush for 
94 



the river, and in spi te of all our efforts to stop 
them, the tree ,vas soon all afloat and ,vith the 
oxen still attached to it, \vas rushing rapidly 
do\yn the river, the oxen making every effort to 
s\vim across to an island that was in the middle 
of the river. This had the effect of causing the 
top of the tree to be suddenly driven in to\\'"ards 
the shore, \vhen we. caught it by the branches 
and dre\v it .to\vards the side for all that \ve \vere 
\yorth, and the oxen, which were getting pretty 
\vell exhausted by this time, were doing their 
be
t pulling against us, trying to reach the is- 
land. There ,vas nothing of then1 to be seen but 
the tips of their horns, and the ends of their 
noses out of the \vater; the chain had got over 
their backs and held them down in the "
ater, 
y;hich caused theill to moan piteously. But no 
sooner had the tops turned in to\vards us than 
\ve sa,,- our opportunity, \vhen \ve ran and caught 
hold of the branches and pulled it in such a \vay 
that :\Ir. 
T. g-ot into the larg-e IÌ1nbs and cra\yl- 
ed upon his hands and knees until. he at last 
reached the chain, when he managed to get it 
unhooked, and then cra\vled very cautiously, but 
speedily back to the branches, ,vhich I \vas hold- 
ing on to with all my might, although I \vas 
dra\vn into the \vater nearly up to the \vaist, 
and in another n1ol11ent or t"TO \vould have been 
off Iny feet. I called to him to make all possible 
speed, and just as he got near enough to jump 
I felt lnvself being carried a\vay, and called up- 
on him to jump, which he did, and I caught hinl 
not a moment too soon, or he Inost certainly 
\vould have been taken a\vay do,vn \vith the tree, 
95 



aT been dro\vned, for he could not s\vÌ1n more 
than a stone. 'fhe tree was soon car'ried a\vay 
do\vn the river to\vards the lake, and the poor 
oxen, after they had been relea.
ed from the tree r 
managed to reach the island, and there the\"" 
stood very fatigued looking. After resting our- 
selves for a \ short time and considering- ;,-"That 
\vottld be the best \vay to get the oxen off the 
island, for ,,-e could not get along: very well \vith- 
out them no\v, I proposed that \.ve make a lig-h t 
raft out of a couple of cedar rails, that \vere ly- 
ing- near at hand. So "\ve got a hammer and 
SOlne nails, and t\VO short pieces of board. \Ye 
nailed thenl tog-ether, and after furnishing- ll1Y- 
self also ,,-ith a paddle, I got upon the slinl 
raft and pushed out into the stream, but no 
sooner had I reached the s\vift current, than by 
my having to use more force to urge the raft "to 
cross the stream, it parted in two, and I 
fell back\vards into the \vater, a)1d my frail coraft 
floated do\vn the river, but I succeeded in gain- 
ing the shore, and after resting a few minutes, 
I said to l\1r. \Vallace, no\v that I was as \vet as 
I could possibly be, I \vould go up the river a 
short \vay and s\vÏtn in a slanting direction 
across to the island, before the s\vift cu:rrent 
could carry me past. So I foolishly attempted 
to s\vÌ1n over with a pair of heavy cowhide long 
boots upon my feet, and a pair of worsted pants, 
\vith a leather belt around my \vaist. In I 
\vent and before I knew \vhere I was, I \vas do\vn 
\vi thin a fe\v feet of the lo\ver end of the island, 
just \vhere the t\VO currents meet, and I put 
forth all my strength in trying to reach the is- 
96 



land, but all to no ptLtpose, for I could not gain 
an inch against such a current. At last my 
arH1.S refused to move, and I went down feet 
first, until I touched the bottom, \vhich \vas 
about twelve feet do\vn at that place, and then 
gave myself a hard push up\vards \vith my 
feet. This sent me up to the surface again, 
\vhere I rene\ved all my efforts to reach the is- 
land, which \vas so very near. Mr. Wallaee was 
going up and do\vn the river's edge in great dis- 
tress, being quite unable to render me any as- 
sistance. My strength again failing me I 
\yent do\vn to the bottom a second time, and in 
the same way I as I did at the first, I again gave 
luyself a violent push up\vards, \vhich sent me to 
the top a second time, and most fortunately at 
this moment Mr. James Orr, who had just come 
up from Southampton, sa\v my perilous condi- 
tion at once, and came running and calling" to 
Ine to swim do\vn the strealn, and then ran up 
and got a cedar rail and pushed it in to the \va- 
ter as far as he could, and no sooner did I turn 
to go do\vn with the stream, than it gave me 
quite a rest, and I found it to be easy \\"ork be- 
sides trying to go up ag-ainst it. So, bv the 
time the rail came do\vn, I was within reach, 
and caught it, and pulling it under my arms, 
I paddled myself to".ards the shore, and it hap- 
pened that there had been a tree stuck fast at 
SOlne distance further down the river, and to 
that spot IVlr. \Vallace ran and climbed in am- 
ong-st the branches ,,-i th a fishing pole. One end 
of it he reached out to HIe, and I caug-ht it by 
the end. and by that nleans got pulled ashore. 

17 



But I was so exhausted that I could not stand 
for quite a while, but had to be laid upon the 
ground for some time to rest. But I quickly 
recovered sufficiently to go to the house and put 
on a dry shirt, and get some food, and \vhile I 
was doing this, MiI". Orr, who \vas a good swim- 
mer, divested himself of his clothes and swaIn 
over to the island and drove the oxen back 
again. By this incident I \vas taught a serious 
lesson. I may say that I never knew until that 
day how great and many had been the dangers 
and risks that we had passed through in cross- 
ing and redrossing that river so often and 
sometimes even carelessly and thought- 
less of danger, for although \ve were 
fairly good swimmers, yet if by any niis- 
hap we fell into the middle of the river in our 
clothing and heavy boots, our chances of escape 
from drowning" would be very few indeed. 
And upon the afternoon of this very day an 
incident occurred that I think is \vell \voTth re- 
lating. About four o'clock, a party of five 
men, belonging to a surveying company. had 
come up from Southampton, to where Mr. \Val- 
lace and I were at .wor k, and they anxiously de- 
sired that I should take them across the river. 
But I did not care to run many more risks, for 
I had got about enough of the water for one 
day. I told them where they would find our 
raft, and that they \vere quite welcome to use 
it, but that they would require to make t\\'O 
trips, for the raft would only carry three safely 
over at once, and if three crossed over one could 
return with the raft and get the t\VO that had 
9
 



been left. In that way they could all pass over, 
and then tie up the raft on that. side, and my 
brother and I would find SOlne other means of 
passing- over when we returned in the evening. 
But thev insisted upon my going up to where the 
raft was tied up. So I accom1?anied them up 
the river to where the raft ,vas, and when they 
sa\v it they were very uluch afraid, and \vould 
not venture upon it, but urged that I should 
take them over. I said that I had never been 
afraid of the river until to-day, and besides 1 
did not feel able to undertake such hard work 
after \vhat I had already passed tWrough, and it 
\yould cause me to pass over three times at 
least, for the raft \vould not carry more than 
t\\?O besides myself. But I told them that there 
,vas the raft and if they \vanted to cross over 
that they were very \velcome to use it. At 
length three of the most daring got upon it and 
shoved out into the river, but no sooner did 
they reach the current than they. \vere s\viftly 
turned about, and the raft began to sink deep 
do\vn in the ,vater. Fortunately they dit'ifted 
into an eddy, and we again got theln safe 
ashore. They had all got ,wet up to their knees, 
besides receiving a bad frig-ht, and they all turn- 
ed sharply upon me ånd certainly they gave me 
al1

thing but a blessing, and told me that that 
raft never carried three across that river, and 
that I \vas only trying to play a trick upon 
thetn, and deceive theJn, and that I did not care 
if they all got dro\vned. Upon this being- said, 
I got upon the raft and called upon any t\VO of 
them to g-et on and I \vould take thelll across, 
!/fl 



just to prove to them ,,-hat I had told theln was 
true. In a Ii ttle time two stepped on with me 
and I ferried them to the other side in safety, 
and returned ,vith the raft. "Now you three have 
seen \vhat I have done. Take the raft and ferrv 
..I 
youtrselves over." They said no, that they were 
afraid, but would give me a dollar to take thenl 
across. I said no, that I had taken a good 
many over at different times and never yet took 
a copper, and I did not feel like beg-inning to- 
day, but if they wished they could take the 
raft and use it, and leave it on the other side, 
but I \vould do no more for them. So then one of 
the men declared that he would sooner walk all 
the \vav up by the banks of the river until he 
reäched the bridge at \Valkerton, than cross the 
ri ver on that raft. I told hÜn to please him- 
self about that, and leaving- three upon one side 
and t\VO upon the other, I bade them good after- 
noon, and then returned dO\Vll the river's edge 
to l\Ir. \Yallace. \Vhen I told him what I had 
done, he said that I was not to be blamed, tak- 
ing my experience of the former part of the day 
into consideration, and from \vhat I had already 
passed through in crossing over with some that 
were in 1110rtal fear of being drowned. The mind 
seems to have such a \vonderful effect upon the 
body, that one would almost think that they 
had suddenly changed into a lun1p of lead, and 
in case of an accident such a one would be sure 
to grab hold of SOlne one and prevent thetn from 
s\\Timming, and the consequence would be that 
both \vould perish together. I will here relate 
another event that o'ccurred to me sonle titl1e in 
100 



the lllonth of June, \vhich I \vill neVer forgèt. It 
happened that along about this tinlc \\"e "Tould 
have very frequent callers frOln peop
c looking- 
for land, and as a natural conseqllence :he de- 
111ands upon our store of provisions \\T
re 1.. uch 
heavier than they would other\vi o,,;e have h!'en. 
This caused us to make more frequent risíts to 
Southall1pton for flour and other needful sup- 
plies, so I volunteered upon this occaSlon to go 
to the village, for I rather liké(l to go to 
SouthaInpton to see ll1Y friends, an(l hear the 
ne\vs, for at this tÜne there \vas neither any 
established post nor paper, and reading matter 
\"as scarce in these quarters in those days. So 
I started one evening, for the days \vere long, 
although as yet there \\ ere no roads, but O\Ter or 
under fallen trees, and across creeks 'upon a tree 
t:ut for the purpose of crossing over upon, in- 
stead of a bridge, and along by the lake shore 
on stepping- stones, and by portage, to South- 
alnpton, . \vhich \\'ould be fu.11y eight miles by 
thes{' short cuts, yet I reached there \vhen it \vas 
early in the evening. I got a bag of 100 pounds 
of flour and all in readiness for an early start 
home in the 1l10rning. After having tea and 
spending the night at the hOlne of our good 
friend, Capt, Spence, I a\yoke about daylight 
and put the bag of flour upon IllY hack, hoping 
to reach hOll1e in good titne for breakfast. I 
lnanag-ed to get along very nicely for a tilne, un- 
til I had Rotten about half \vay, \vhen Iny load 
of flour became very heavy and I had to take 
frequent rests, and I \vas so hungry and \v
ak 
that ,,-hen I put it do\\'n to rest I could scarce-- 
111\ 



ly get it upon lilY back again, and as it got hot- 
ter to\vards noon the \,-eaker I becal11e and the 
heavier the load gre\v. About noon I reached 
home perfectly tired out, and so I proved the 
old adage to be true in my case also. It \vas 
onl
- a lamb ,vhen I started off \vith it, but it 
became a very heavv sheep before I got it hOlne, 
and I never \vanted to try another such experi- 
ence, as carrYIng a bag of flour eight n1Ï]es be- 
fore breakfast. 
Along- during the early part of this SUlnn1er 
our old friend, l\Ir. George Butchart, COlnl1lenced 
the erection of a saw mill upon what is kno\\-u 
as l\Iill Creek, near to Port Elgin, a very IJluch 
needed construction at that time, as so 111any 
people \vere moving into the co'Untry and requir- 
ing lumber for building purposes, and as there 
\vas some good pine and other timber in this 
section the enterprise \vas a desirable one. In 
due time the preparations for the dam \-\'ere 
made, and the timber franled and ready to put 
up. For by this time there \vere some framers 
and other mechanics in and around Southalnp- 
ton, \vhere several houses \vere in courrse of be- 
ing erected, and so the day caIne \vhen all \vas 
in readiness for raising- the saw mill, and al- 
though the timbers were very heavy, there "-as 
an abundance of help. But the majority, of those 
present had never seen a frame building ..,put up 
in their lives, and they were as green and ignor- 
ant of what to do as it \vould be possible to 
conceive. Although they were composed of a 
nllmber of exceedingly strong men, yet the fram- 
er or contractor could do nothing- \vith them. 
102 



They ",
ould stand in groups and talk, paying no 
heed to what the framer said, for they did not 
know bv name the one piece of timber from the 
other or \vhere it should be placed. So the fram- 
- ei h
d to g-ive up in despair, after talking him- 
self neaTly hoarse. Just at this very moment 
there ar'ri ved a, small party of men that had 
ne\vl

 reached Southamp;ton, and was told of a 
sa\v Inill that was. being raised that day, and 
they hastened o.ut to the spot. Amongst the 
number \'
as an active young man, a franler, 
from Orillia, and he said that he never yet had 
nl uch trouble in managing the hands at a rais- 
ing of abuilding, and that he would niOt be 
afraid to take the Inen in charge and put up the 
building. Consent to let him try \va
 \villingly 
gi ven by the contractor, so this young man 
mounted upon the top of a half-raised bent, 
there to harangue the people. After he had 
called thell1 all to order and attention, he said 
that he wanted them all to keep silent and at- 
tend to \vhat he said. He knew that they were 
perfectly able to raise this building in short 
time, and he asked them all to lift tog-ether 
when he gave them the command to "Ye 0, 
heave. No\v are you all ready. Ye 0, heave," 
and a\vay the bent went up without a stop, as 
if it had been made of so m,any laths, for so 
sudden and unexpected \vas the move that the 
bent \vas taken clear a\vay from under the poor 
fello\v's feet in a moment, and he fell back- 
\vards astride of a man's shoulders, and down 
about sixteen feet into the mill race, striking 
his head against a beam at the bottom. He 
1m 



never spoke, but only gave a quiver, but \vas 
soon carried up to the edge of the bank and ev- 
ery available appliance \vas used in order to 
bring him around. It was some time. before he 
gave much symptom,s of life, and it took several 
\veeks' nursing- before he was able to return to 
his home again. This accident had the effect of 
casting a damper and dep,ression over all pTes- 
ent for a tinIe, ,and \vhen \ve did get to work 
again it \vas \vo'rse than it \vas before the acci- 
dent, for none seemed to care to do anything. 
So then it \vas suggested that \ye try again by 
calling sides and see what effect that would have. 
r \vas asked to be one of the captains. I said 
that there \vere many older men here, I thought, 
\yho \\-ould do better than I, but \vas told they 
,vere wi thou t experience. r then.; said if desired 
I would try and do the best r could to g-et the 
building up, and then, the people \vere all called 
together, and told \vhat \ve \vere going to do. l\Iy 
opponent had a slight advantage over me, in be- 
ing a carpenter himself. H'o,vever, the choosing 
of sides turn about commenced, and, of course, 
I had to begin \vi th my neighbors, IVLr. Peter 
Smith and IVlr. Pilgrim, and others, but r did 
not know the names of all present and I \vas 
assisted and directed in many cases at the in- 
stigation of Mr. Smith, \vho knew them all, and 
\vhen \ve got our sides completed I had as stur- 
dv a lot of Highlanders as anyone could wish, 
and the onlv trouble no\v \vas to keep them 
back T\vo of them \vould take hold of a heavy 
piece of timber and run a,vay \vith it, while be- 
fore this six or eight men could scarcely man- 
10-1 



age to get it along, and ,vhen it caIne to raising 
the bents, \ve would have our side up and pinned 
before the others had theirs entered. This no 
doubt caused trouble and delay, for \ve often had 
to drive our pins out again before the other side 
could enter theirs. Not,vithstanding all this, I 
could not keep theln back, and the next bent 
would just be the same, and if they had been 
comlnandcd to capture a fort or engage In a 
tug of war they could not have gone to \vork 
\vi th greater \\
ill and deterlnination to ,vin. I 
Inay say that this sa\v mill served the purpose 
for ,vhich it was intended, and when timber be- 
caIne scarce it was converted into a grist mill, 
and the site has been occupied for several years 
doing good service in that \vay. 
I h'ave already stated in a former part of 
our experience as early settlers, \vhat ",-e had to 
endure and suffer from the plague of mice, and 
how we found things upon our return froln 
Guelph in the spring of 1852. During l\Ir. James 
Scott's stay \vith us a rather laughable event 
occurred, \vhich I think is \vorth relating here. 
l\lr. Scott \\Tas rather what might be called a 
staid Scotchman, \vho had no bad opinion of 
himself, and he felt much annoyed at the depre- 
dations of the ll1ice, and so plentiful "
ere they 
that every effort to over/come them seelned to 
be of little avail. This gave lVlr. Scott full 
scope to exercise all the ingenuity of his inven- 
tive powers to subdue them, and keep thelll 
\vi thin reasonable bounds, and it was almost im- 
possible to keep anything eatable that thev 
\vould not find and destroy. The only places of 
10:) 



safety \yere our t,vo round bake kettles or ovens, 
with close-fitting lids, and in these \ve had to 
store a,vay ou,r provisions, but these places of 
safety were not ahvays available for that pur- 
pose, for \ve generally Inade lour o,vn bread 
from salt raising-s or yeast of that material, ankl 
Mr. Scott was quite an expert in; the making- of 
bread of that description, \vhich was very palat- 
able, and, of course, had always. to be very care- 
fully kept from the ravages of the mice in the 
bake oven. So \ve had\ to Inake a strong-, heavy 
box, and suspend it from the \vall, ,vith close- 
fitting door and shelves, and in this we put our 
eatables and groceries, such as bread, butter, su- 
gar, tea, coffee, mustard, pepper, salt, etc. Con- 
ceive of our consternation \vhen \ve opened this 
cu p board door in the morning to see about a 
do'Zen of mice jum,p out of it, and then find, in- 
stead of our provisions, a large mouse nest, 
made of cedar bark, and all the paper torn from 
our grocery parcels, constructed into a large 
nest, and our tea, sugar, coffee, pepper, mus- 
tard, all mixed into a dirty confused heap on 
top of our butter plate. \Ve all felt like g-iving 
up in despair, but l\Tr. Scott said, that by all 
means, let us try to get a cat, for \ve cannot 
live with these destructive vermin over-running 
everything in this way. So it happened that 
my brother, William, was do,vn at Southampton 
a short time after the above occurrence, and 
was telling some of our friends about the g;reat 
annoyance that we suffered from swarms of 
mice, and said that he wished that they could 
direct liim' to where he could get a cat, when 
106 



SOlne one saId that they thoug-ht that they could 
find one for him, After some enquiries he got 
the offer of an ugly old tom cat" which they 
\\Tould lend him for a \vhile, but they also said 
that he \yas rather treacherous and a noto;rious- 
ly bad' thief. Ho\vever, \Villiam was glad to get 
anything in the shape of a cat, ,and brought him 
along, as he \vas told that he need not trouble 
himself greatly about returning the cat. 
\Ve all received this ugly old cat as a welcome 
visito'r, for \ve hoped that he \vould be able to 
deliver us from the awful tyranny to which we 
had been subjected by the plague of mice. But 
\ve ,vere rather doolned to disappointment, for 
this old cat had no;t been many days in our pos- 
session before J ames Scott took a very strong 
dislike and hatred to\\Tards him, and I suppose 
that he had plen tv of cause and reason for this 
dislike, for I do not think that this cat posses- 
sed one attractive or redeeming quality in its 
nature, for it did not seeln to care to try and 
catch mice, but depended entirely upon sponging 
and stealing for a living.. So l\1r. Scott's hat- 
red became so intense towards that cat that he 
could nort: see it \vithout having sOlnething l)ad 
to say about it, and \vished to be allo,vcd to 
drown hitn in the river. \Ve would ask hin: to 
have a little patience, for the cat ,vas a strang-er 
in the place yet, but when he becatne acqnaÜlt- 
ed with his surroundings that then he would 
take to his instincts and kill mice. But one day 
,,,hen we came to the shanty to get onr dinner, 
t!he cat ","as left inside as usual to watch the 
luicc \"hen ,ve went out to \vork in the Inornillg, 
1/17 



so \vhen "Te opened the shanty door out ran 1he 
cat, for he had knocked do\vn a flat-iron that 
hung upon a nail on the \vall, and it fell on the 
top of our largest bake kettle and broke the cov- 
er in pieces, and as \vhat w'"e had intended for 
our dinner had been sto\ved a\v
y in the ket- 
tle, the cat had eaten and destroyed it. The 
bake' kettle had unfortunately been left sitting 
directly under "There the iron ,vas hanging, and 
this proved a severe loss to us under the cir- 
cumstances, as \ve had' no means of replacing it. 
.A.ll this gave J ames a double plea in his object 
of dxo\vning the cat, and J ames said ((Surely af- 
ter seeing \vhat he had done you will allo\v me 
to dro\vn him, for such a nasty, ugly, thievish 
brute should not be permitted to live another 
hour. " \Ve said, ((\Y ell, J alnes,' if you can catch 
him, after dinner, \vhile you, are resting your- 
self, you Inay take him do\vn to the river and 
æro\vn him." James recei ved this pern1Íssion 
\\-i th evident pleasua.-e, and just as soon as he 
had finished eating his dinner, he \ven t out in 
search of the cat, putting on a very 
oft, 
persuasi ve, pleasant tone of voice to induce the 
cat to allo\v itself to be caught by him. At 
last he succeeded in capturring it, and taking the 
cat up in his arms, he said, ((I have g-ot you 
no\v, vou old thief, and I'll soon put an end to 
you, you ugly brute. " He carried hÏ1n do\vn 
to the river's edge. The cat, true to his in- 
stincts, became alarmed at the sight of the \ya- 
ter, and struggled to get a\Yay, blLt when it 
found that it could not escape, as l\lr. Scott had 
already gone into the \vater some distance, ,the 
108 



cat only clung the closer to him, and began to 
crawl up to his shoulders, and as 1\1;r. Scott 
\vas a man over six feet in height, the cat at- 
tained to some little distance above the surface 
of the water. \Vhen l\lr. Scott had reæched the 
deep, s\\Tift running current, and attempted to 
remove' the cat fron1 its perch, to complete his 
purpose, the cat seemed to be a\vare of his in- 
tention and only clung the more tenaciously to 
his shoulders, sinking its claws deeply into his 
flesh through his thin cotton shirt. This had 
the effect of causing- J ames to turn and quickly 
retrace his steps to the shore, \vearing a very 
\\
ry face, and \vith the cat still upon his shoul- 
der. I said to hiIn, "\Yhat is the matter, Ja]ll\
s, 
have yo:u relented?" He said no, but that he \yas 
not able to take the brute off his shoulder. It 
had stuck its claws all so deep into him, and 
the In ore he tried to remove it the deeper it 
sunk them in to hinl and the tighter it clung to 
hitn But as soon as he had gained the dry 
land the cat began to relax his hold and \,,-ant- 
ed to get do\vn. .J an1es caught hold of him and 
held him tight, and then asked to be given a 
picce of cord or string, \vhen he fastened one 
end åround the cat' s neck, and to the other end 
he tied a stone, and taking it do\vn to the river, 
said, HI \vill fix YOU this tinle, you ugly old sin-- 
ner," and \vhen he thought that he had reached a 
suitable spot for the purpose, he thre\v the cat 
and stone with all f01!ce into the river. But, lo! 
to his disapvointnlent, the stone went about 
t\vice 
<; far into the water as the cat. It had 
slipped out o[ the string. The cat only \vent a 
109 



little way into the water an'd sv.ram ashore, and 
escaped in spite of l\lr. Scott's efforts to pre- 
vent it, and then made off to the woods, and \ye 
never saw any m'ore of that cat. I have sonle- 
times heard it said that cats were witches, or 
witches \vere cats. 'Vhichever way it is I do not 
kno\v, but one thing seemed certain, that this 
cat took the hint, and kne"v enoug:h to keep 
away and never sho"v his face around these quar- 
ters "vhile l\1\r. S-cott remained near at hand. To 
nlany this story of the cat and mice may appear 
to be very trivial, but to us at that time it 
was a very significant and an important busi- 
ness for us to kno\v how we could OYercome such 
a great nuisance as these mice had become, for 
it must be remembea-ed that in those days and 
in that place we had no means of replacing- those 
things that were destroyed, for the country \vas 
very different then from what it is at p
esent. 
I "vill only add that there were other v
rtnill ùe- 
sides mice and much smaller than thetn, that 
\vere very plentiful in many houses in those days: 
which also "vere a great plague ,to many. I 
do not Inean mosquitoes nor flie
', althoug-h 
there "vere plenty of both of th
se pests. 


Story of Our Cattle 


I \vill give a little of our experience \vi th the 
cattle that I took up \vi th me. The oxen we 
found to be very useful and helpful during the 
time of logging and clearing up the land in the 
spring and early summer, but we found it son1e- 
times very hard to keep track of them, for they 
110 



would often wander a\vay through the \voods for 
a great distance, and it was very diffi.cul t some- 
times for us to find them, and ,vhen the cows 
calved it made matters much \vorse, for we had 
to allow the calves to run in the woods and suck 
their mothers, for we did not have any conven- 
ience for the making of b'utter or of putting tht: 
milk to any profitable use, but we only required 
a Ii ttle for domestic purposes, and this \ve were 
often deprived of, fo,r it \vas seldom that \ve 
could find the cows \v hen \ve wished to have 
some Inilk. Under the cirCulnstances \ve did not 
find the keeping of stock either pleasant or pro- 
fitable, in such a ne\v country, and not until we 
had proper conveniences for pasturing and suit- 
able buildingis for \vintering stock, was it found 
to be a profitable business. \V1heat raising 'vas 
the ptritl'cipal crop for several years for both the 
soil and climate \vere admirably adapted for its 
cultivation, and the price of \vheat becatne very 
high during the con tinuance of the 1l ussian 
war, \vhich certainly had the effect upon that 
fine young country of giving it very mate}-ial aid 
in its early start as a settlelnent dUTing the fif- 
ties. 
I will relate a circulustance that \vas of SOl11e 
importance to lue personally, during the SUllllller 
of 18 51. I had sold the yoke 01 oxen that we 
took up with us that spring, and for ,vhich I 
was to receive the sum of eighty-five dollars 
from my late friend, l\lr. l\IcDonald, whose life 
was ac.cidentallv cut short by the sad \vreck of 
his vessel, the "Saucy Jack," late in the fall of 
1851, and ,\"hich sad calal11ity preveni..èd hitn 
111 



paYIng me for the oxen, \vhien he 110 dOtlh
_ 
would have done had he been spared to return 
from Goderich in safety. However, as l\Ir. l\Ic- 
Donald was so unexpectedly taken a\vay, his 
busine
s affairs \vere not \vell understood l)y anv 
and so I \yas deprived of the money. But along 
aoout the first of July r \vas informed that there 
was to be a meeting of the creditors held in 
Goderich about the middle of July, so before 
that time I ,,-ent to Southampton to Ineet Cap- 
tain Spence, who ,vas also going to Godcrich on 
the satne business, and \yas taking his 1i t tle 
niece \\-ith him. So w"e all started in the 111orn- 
ing- in a small sail boat for Goderich, and \"hen 
we got opposite to what is now Kincardine it 
\vas just about sun
et. Then suddenly caIne up 
a thunderstorm, \vi th a considerable squall of 
"rind. Capt. Spence at once lo\vered do\vn the 
sails and said \ve must take to the oars and pull 
for the shore with all our might. This had the 
effect of frightening me considerably, for we "rere 
about ten miles o'ut fr0111 shore. I immediatelv 
.J 
applied. all my might! and st
rength to the oar, 
in hopes of soon reaching land, but as darkness 
set in I could not see the shore, althoug-h I of- 
ten asked the question, flow far do you think 
alre \\'e froln the shore, now? The answer I got 
was, Oh, pull a\vay, \ve will soon be out of dan- 
ger, you are doing very well. I said that I 
hoped that it ,vas not mu:ch further, that I \vas 
getting so very tired. But no shore did we reach 
unti1 it \vas just getting daylight, \vhcn "e 
dre\v in towards land. I asked Capt. Spence 
what place it \vas, and to my surprise he said 
112 



that it was Goderich harbor. Then I felt quite 
angry with Capt. Spence for keeping Inc ro\\;-ing 
so hard all night, in order, as I thoug-ht, to 
avoid danger, \vhen, in reality, there \vas v('ry 
little to avoid. But his object \vas to reach 
Goderich harbor \vithout losing tÏ1ne. 1\ly hands 
\vere hlistered and Iny arms sore and tirecl lroln 
such continuous hard pulling, for I \vas under 
the impression that our safety depended u.pon 
our exerti ons. 
After landing I told hÏ1n that I had gotten all 
I \vanted of sailing in a slnall boat on the lake, 
and that rather than return \vi th him I \vould 
\valk all the \vay hOlne, sooner than put in an- 
other such night on the \vater. But Captain 
Spence only made light of IllY troubles and said 
t hat as soon as I got a sleep that I \vould be 
all right. Ho\vever, as it was no\v davljg-ht, 
\ve parted, leaving Capt. S. in conversation \\ ith 
SOIl1e acquaintance that he met at the ,,-harf, 
and although I had never been in Goderich be- 
fore, I started to "Talk up to\vn, looking" for an 
open hotel door. Soon I caIne to \vhere there 
\vas a clean-looking place, \vhere a maid ,,-as en- 
gaged in s\vccping the steps at the front door. 
I asked hcr if she thought that I could be ac- 
cOlnlllodated \vi th a bed, for I had becn 011 1 he 
lake all night. She said, Oh, certainly. Then 
shc sho\ved Ine in to a rOOIll and a.sked if I \vish- 
ed to hc callcd for hreaJ<.fast. I said no, that I 
\vould rather sleep until dinner \vas ready. So 
I got a good rest, and \vas quite refreshed, and 
after\vards got up and enjoycd a good dinncr, 
\vhich lllade HIC feel, as Capt. Spence had said, 
113 



that I would be all right. I then started off 
down the street in search of my friend, Spence, 
from \\
hom I had rather uncivilly parted in the 
morning, thinking- that I had been a little Ï1n- 
posed upon through my ignorance of sailing, for 
I had never had mu:ch p,ractice in that line on 
the lake. 
But I had scarcely reached the street corner 
\vhen, to n1V surprise and I must say pleasure 
also, I \vas accosted by a young lady, lVliss 
Gooding, \vhose acquaintance I had the pleasure 
of making- on the pre(;eding SUllilner, \vhile she 
\vas a vi si tOT at the home of Capt. Spence in 
Southampton. I asked her then if she had seen 
anything of the Captain, and she said that he 
\vas at their house \vhen she left home, and then 
she kindly invited nle to accompany her hOll1e 
and spend the afternoon ,vi th them, and remain 
fOT tea. I ,villingly accepted this kind invita- 
tio'n, and \vas richly re\varded, for I do not 
think that I ever put in a more pleasant and 
happy afternoon, and, after\vards I spent a most 
genial and happy \veek in Goderich, tor durIng 
oU'r stay theiTe \ve \vere all invited to lllake the 
c0111fortable house of l\1rs. Gooding our hOllle, 
and I found it to be a delightful change [rolll 
\vhat I had latelv experienced in our shanty life 
on the Saugeen River. 
I do not think that our creditors' Ineeting 
came to mu.oh. I kno,v that all I got for my 
share \vas a bag of flour, "\vhich I took home 
\vith llle. There \vas a quantity of dalnaged 
store goods sold by auction, but I don't think 
that they all alnoullted to luuch, as they \vere 
114 



badly damaged by fire, for the \vhole of l\lr. 
McDonald's stock \vas supposed to have been ac- 
cidentally burned at Southampton the preceding 
winter. After spending a very delightful time 
in Goderich, \vhich I thought to be a very pretty 
place, and after receiving a pronlise from Capt. 
Spence that he \vould not. ask me to row again, 
and that he \volIld not start out without having 
the prospect of a fair \vind, not\vi th- 
standing my fortner protestations, I was per- 
suaded to venture again in that boat. One fine 
morning \vith a favo;rable \vind we set ofT, but 
by noon the \vind had ceased and there \vas a 
cahn, and \ve then Inade very slo\v progress, and 
as ,,-e \vere near to \vhat is no\v Kincardine, \ve 
made for the shore, and ran a little \vay up 
into the lnouth of a creek or river, for the 
night remaining- in the boat, and covering our- 
selves \vi th the sails. I do not think that there 
\vere more than one or t\VO slnall fishing shanties 
at Kincardine at that ti111e. It ,vas a very new 
looking place, a)1d I could not see anything of 
it, but by daylig1ht there had sprung up a brisk 
favorable ,,-ind and ,,-e again set oil full sail up 
the lake in g-ood speed, and when \ve got oppo- 
site to \vhat is no\v Port Elgin, \vhich ,ve soon 
reached, Captain S. put me and the loa-pound 
bag- of flour ashore, and then ran up to South- 
ampton in short tiule. I put .the bag upon my 
back and started through the \voods for honle, 
but \vhen I reached the creek \vhere the sa\v tuill 
\vas being erected there "'ere several men at 
\vork at the ne\v dam, so \vhen I arrived \vhere 
they \vere they took possession of 1IIV bag of 
115 



flour and \vould not allo\v me to ,carry it any 
further, but said that they \vould bring it home 
to me after they quit \vork at night, \vhich they 
kindly did. Thus ended my first trip upon the 
waters of Lake H'U\ron, and how very greatl:v ev- 
ervthing has chang-ed since those pioneer days, 
I \vill not even attelnpt to describe. 
Some tin1e after my return fXOll1 this trip to 
Goderich and during our usual lnonotonous life 
in clearing up the land, \ve unexpectedly re
eiv- 
ed an urgent letter from our father, a short tin1e 
alter harvest, requesting that either \Villiam or 
I \vould at once retu'rn back to the old honle 
and take cha:rge of, the farm, for he \vas g-etting 
\,,-ell up in years and he fOllnd that the care of 
managing the farm \vas too lnuch for hi111, and 
that he \vas not able now properly nor profit- 
ably to cond,uct the \vork, especially as he had 
no\v to depend ælmost entirely upon hired help. 
So no\v \Villiam and I consulted earnestly and 
very seriously over this matter and finally canle 
to the conclusion that it would be, all thing-s 
considered, the proper thing for one of us to do, 
and after deciding upon this course, \ve each 
agreed to give up our present claÏ1n to the t\VO 
lots of land to the one that remained for the 
sum of one hundìred pounds, to be paid out of 
the portion of the old hOlnestead \v hen divided, 
and \vhich we would be entitled to receive as 
our' portion of the same when a settlelnent ,,-as 
finally made. After settling all these matters 
bet\veen ourselves satisfacto'rily, the next and 
1110st impo['tant business \vas to decide \vho \vas 
to go, and \vhich of us \vas to rell1ain, and as 
116 



we were both seemingly \villing- to be guided by 
the \vishes of the other \ve could not decide, and 
to settle the matter \ve agreed to cast lots. Af- 
ter a fair trial it came to my lot to go back to 
the old home of our youth, and \vhere I had al- 
ready spent t\venty years of my early life. I 
was glad indeed. to return to it, where I could 
enjoy more of the social comfortJs of life, yet I 
felt ver:v sorry to go away and leave all alone 
in this place my elder brother, from \vhom I had 
never been long- parted for over t\venty-four 
years. Our lives had been very cl
ely bound 
together, and \ve had been as one in all ou
 joys 
and sorro\vs hitherto, and I felt very sad indeed 
at the thought of parting from him, fO(t" I never 
kne\v until that time ho\v greatly \ve \vere at- 
tached to each other, and I felt like backing out 
of the arrang-elnent, for'I felt that it \vas an act 
of cruelty for me to go a\vay and leave hinl by 
himself like a hertnit in the \\'"ilderness. But he 
seetned not to mind it, but looked upon the 1uat- 
ter in a brighter way, and \vas quite reconciled 
to his circu11l'stances. Of cou
se hope is a great 
encourager and gives stren
th to endure great 
and hard trials, and causes 11',5 to' see the brig-ht 
instead of the dark side of things, and I will here 
add that our sepa,ration from this titne becaule 
nea;-ly final, for in the spring of r854 I entered 
into arrangements \vith my father and the other 
members of the family to buyout all their 
shares and interest in the old homestead, and 
which agreement I carried out to completion 
and became sole prop'rietor of the old hOlne in 
Paisley Block, Guelph. 
117 



I just \vish to say before closing that 111)'" hro- 
ther, \Yil1iam, \vho took such a conspicuous and 

ctive part in all the adventures and vicissi- 
tudes incidental to early settlement in a new 
country, is still alive and although in his 77th 
yeaT, continues to enjoy fairly good health, and 
is now retired {rom active farming and li viug 
in a comfortable hOlne in the village of Tara, 
and is surrounded by many comforts. His faIn- 
ily are nearly all married and comfortably 
it- 
uated and doing well fOT themiselves. 
In a short time after concluding those very 
impo1rtant arrangements with my dear brother, 
\Villiam, I began to make p.reparations for my 
return to the old home at Guelph. But at t.he 
same time I must confess that it \vas not \yith- 
out some feelings of regret that I had been call- 
ed upon to leave my new .home on the banks of 
tJhe Saugeen River, where I had purposed luak- 
ing Iny horne in the future, and where I had hop- 
ed to spend many year-$ of my life in cOlufort 
and peace, notwithstanding that much of my 
past experien
e dlllI"ing my short residen\
e in 
this place had so very much more of the hi tter 
than the sweet in its composition. Such is 1i.fe 
everywhere; and when we have youth and hope 
on our side many of these seeming difficulties 
can be overcome, for I had already formed many 
plans and purposes, which I hoped to see COJTI- 
pleted in the near future. I have no douht now 
but many, if not all of them, would have turned 
out to be only captles built in the air, \vhich 
never \vould have matured. So one morning" af- 
ter I had got all in readiness for my return to 
118 



Guelph, I Inade a start for the O\ven Sound 
road, bringing nothing back \vith 111e but the 
yoke of oxen aJ1d one CO\V, leaving all else \vith 
\Villiam, for our expe:rience \vi th the cattle \Vas 
that \vithout proper conveniences for their care 
and managelnent that the t.rouble with them 
\vas moire than they were \vorth, for when \ve 
\vanted them we never kne\v \vhere they \vere to 
be found, and we lost a good deal of time in 
seeking them for they \vould wander a\vay 
l11any miles through the \voods, apparently very 
desirous to return to \vhere they came froln. So 
on lilY return to Guelph with them I found that 
they \vere I very little trouble to d;rive, but seeln- 
ed to kno\v \vhere they \vere going, and travel- 
led right along at a good pace, so that I rea;ch- 
ed \vhat ,,-as then called the California Inn, on 
the O\ven Sound road, the first evening. I be- 
lieve that the place is now called Chats\vorth. I 
remained there for the night, and the next morn- 
ing before leaving I was indujCed to pur,chase 
one or two more animals at a cheap figure, for 
cattle seemed to be plentiful and 1110ney very 
scarce, for by the time I had reached the old 
home I had <idded still a fe\v tnore to my num- 
ber. I was convinced that there \vas money to 
be made in this line of business, so after my re- 
turn to Guelph, and with the assistance of some 
friends, \vas enabled to spend 1110St of my spare 
time enRaged in buying cattle and sheep dUTing 
the fall and \vinter of r853. 
I t happened that in about a month or six 
\veeks after I had left the Saugeen and Iny bro- 
ther \Villiam by himself, \vord \vas sent to his 
U9 



Illother that .he had met with a serious aocident 
\vhile chopping, by cutting one of his feet badly 
with his axe, and that he would be completel:v 
disabled for SOlne time and quite helpless and 
dependent upon others. I-Io\vever, in the mean- 
time, his good neighbor, I Mrs. Peter Smith, \vas 
attending to his \vants, and had him removed to 
her o\vn home and there she \vas nnr,sing hÍ1n. 
All this made Iny mother feel extremely anx- 
ious and as it \vas not possible for her to go to 
him herself she thought the next best thing to 
do was to send our eldest sister, a girl of about 
fourteen years of age, so that she might \vait 
upon hilll and attend to his wants until he 
\vould be able to get around again. So I \vas 
asked by my nlother to .take Hannah up the 
Saugeen to look after William, and I at once 
agreed to the pj1"oposition, and got a horse and 
buggy and \ve itnmediately started off and by 
the evening of the I second day \ve had reached 
the new line of road by \V'hich I had a fe\v 
,vee
s previously driven out the cattle. This 
road, as yet, \vas in many par:ts 
ly a bl
ed 
line, although in places it \vas chopped but not 
logged up, and \vas quite impassáble with a 
horse and buggy. So \ve \vere compelled to 
leave these behind, and travel the remainder of 
the way by foot. 'Ve had to pass through the 
ne\V To\vn'Ships of Derby and Arran, and then 
through a portion of Saugeen, a very long walk 
for a young girl, besides it \vas over a very 
rough road. Poor thing, she became very tired 
before \ve got through, and I had to pe.rsuade 
and encourage. her to persevere. She would of- 
120 



ten ask me if it \vas much further. I would say 
that it \vas only a little distance no\v, and it 
\vas ahvays gro\ving less, and she \vould then 
cheerfully strugg-Ie on, for she \vas r
ally a 
noble girl in eve.rv sense of that \vord, -and had 
inherited many of her mother's excellent quali- 
ties, both in temper and disposition. \Yhile thus 
speaking- of IUY sister, Hannah, here, I can add 
that she continued to manifest very greatly that 
self-sacrificing- disposition during her short life, 
for at the request of her father and mother she 
sacrificed all her personal prospects and aln bi- 
tions here, and \vent to Scotland to take care of 
an old \vido\ved aunt, \vhere she faithfully \vait- 
ed upon the old ladv for several years. But she 
took ill and died at the home of her aunt, Bal- 
beg Cottage, A yrshire. 
II o\vever, in returning to the original story, 
I luay. sav that Hannah and I finally reached 
the shanty just before it got quite dark. ,She 
\Vas very tired. I do not think that she could 
have g-one another mile. \Ye found \Villialu as 
\\y'ell as \ve could have expected under the ci
 
cumstances, and very pleased to see us both, and 
,,-e all enjoyed our lueeting together again very 
luuch. I was sorrv to have to go away from 
them so soon, but could not help it, fox I had 
left the hQrse and bugg-y on the way, and had 
to return to them at once. So, after spending- 
a short tinle \\yith 'Villialu, I had to return, 
leaving his sister. \vi th him to look after and 
take care of hÌ1n for a short time. I have often 
thought since of \vhat a miserable, lonely time 
she must have had, cut off frolu all ,companion- 
121 



ship and social society. ....-'\.t her age it must have 
been very trying, indeed, but I never heard that 
she lnade any complaint, but acce,p:ted it as a 
natural conseq.uence and just what she expected 
to find .in such a place. 
After leaving the Saugeen I soon reached the 
O\ven Sound road and got my horse and buggy 
and returned in safety to Guelph. I do not 
remember of anything of impo:rtance to relate 
during my. return journey. I was soon engaged 
again in my usual occupation, and in buying 
cattle and sheep, whi'ch I found sometimes to be 
quite a profitable occupation, but it required 
both capital and experience to make it a Su.c- 
cess. 
And again in the fiTst mo.nth of winter I drove 
to O\ven Sound \vi th a pair of horses and a 
sleigh for the purpose of bringing home .m y sis- 
ter and \ViLliam, and I took up \vith me as far 
as Owen Sound, a Mr. Riddle, a school teacher, 
who was also a son-in-law of the late Thomas 
Landlanks, . Esq., manager of the Gore Bank in 
Guelph. This gentleman was going up to settle 
in this new district, and I was told that he af- 
ter\va:rds settled in or near to Invertnay. I af- 
terwards brought ba
k my sister, Hannah, anti 
William, for he wanted to come do\vn and spend 
the winter amongst his old friends and acquaint- 
an
es around Guelph. And this ended \vhat 
\vas my sixth trip up'. to that new country in 
less than two yeaTs' time, so I had become \yell 
acquainted with the road, and with many of the 
people on the way. 


122 



Very shortly after I left the Saugeen valley, 
dRring the fall of 1852 and spring of 1853, there 
\vere very many changes taking place in the set- 
tlement of the country, for there \vere quite a 
n um ber of ne\v settlers taking up land and oth- 
ers \vere buying out some of the original OC{'U- 
pants. These changes \vere very visible, not only 
tb.!roughout the To\vnship of Saugeen, but all 
over the ne\v country. I \vill only lnention a 
fe\v among the many desirable settlers that canîe 
iñ, m'ostly from \Vaterloo County, and settled in 
and around what is now Port Elgin. There \yere 
the l\fessrs. Stafford, Schantz, Bricker, 1lover, 
Hilker and Rhuby, besides many others, and 
very quickly did they convert the vast forests 
into fruití.ul fields, for these people brought both 
experience and capital with thein. And to-day 
much of the fruits of their early la'bors can be 
seen in the fine cleared-up farms, \vith large 
barns and comfortable dwellings, and J1o\vhe
e is 
this thrift more observable than in the pretty, 
clean, well-kept village of Port Elgin, \vhich is 
no\v greatly in advance in ,many \,To.ays of places 
that are very Inuch older, for it \vas only in the 
summer of 1853 that my younger brother, A.. H. 
R., came up to Port Elgin and bought out a 
ne\v house that was then being erected for a 
store by l\1;r. Samuel Bricker, and there he :.tìter- 
\vards comnlen / ced business, and kept t he first 
general store 
nd post office in that place until 
several years after\vards \vhen he sold out 
the business to l\Iessrs. Rhuby and Leh<.:.> nn an , and 
again returned to Guelph for a titne, and starte"d 
business there. But once Inore he sold out and 
123 



removed ,to l\Iinnesota, and has carried on farm- 
ing in that state for several years, and stilll'on- 
tinues there in that ocC!upation. In the n:onth of 
September, 1855, my next brother, John C., 
-came up to Port Elgin and bought four lots 
from l\1r. Hilker, and then put up a house. Then 
he established the first \vagon maker's shop in 
the country, \vhere he made the t\VO first \vag- 
ons that \vere made in the County of Bruce, ànd 
where, after a residence of over forty--seven 
years, he still continues to reside. Althoug-h "be 
may be said to have practically given up busi- 
ness he still employs his leisure hours in his 
.old shop doing little repairings when his health 
will permit him to do so, and \vhich I aU1 glad 
to say that in general is very good for a Ulan 
of over 72 years. He is also the possessor 
of a very cOlllfortable, desirable home, surround- 
ed \vith many pleasant, social comfo:-ts, and a 
competency sufficient to enable him to spend his 
remaining days in ease. 
I remember that I c.alne up with my brother, 
A. H. R., \vho had started store-,keeping in Port 
Elgin, and \ve brought up t\VO sleighs loaded 
with store goods from Hamilton, \vhich, at that 
time, \vas the chief emporium for goods, and I 
had the honor also of being asked by Mrs. Peter 
B'ro\vn to bring üp \vi th me her sister, a young 
lady also from Hamilton, whose society I great- 
ly enjoyed, for the múre pitchy and rough the 
road \vas and the harder it stormed and snowed, 
the louder she would laugh, although at times 
the wind and cold was almost unendurable. She 
would only laugh and say, Is not that a great 
124 



breeze? 
\.nd the sno\v was so deep and the 
roads so heavy that it took us a day longer 
than \ve expected, and instead of g-etting- to Port 
Elgin on Saturday, it \vas Sunday evening be- 
fore we reached that place, for we had also the 
experience of an occasional upset as \ve passed 
through the ne\v road frOlTI the O\ven Sound 
line. After unloading the g-oods at Port :B:lgin 
the next day I drove over to Southcull1}ton and 
left Miss B. \vith her sister, lVlrs. Bro\vn, and it 
was at that time that I had the pleasure of giv- 
ing the Sout!ham'pton ladies that much spoken 
of and appreciated sleigh ride. 
Another event which I yet remember in refer- 
ence to this trip \vas that I had put into iVIr. 
StaITord's hotel stable t\\-O span of horses for 
t\\-O nig-l1ts, and that he charg-ed ll1e eight dol- 
lars for hay and stabling of the horses. Hav 
\vas very dear and scarce at that tin1e. 
I have lnade frequent visits since that titne to 
this part of the country and have ahvays been 
greatly i111pressed and pleased \yith the steady 
and continuoTIs progress that has been lnade 
since those pioneer days. 
Copy of a letter received frol11 Captain .J ohn 
Spence of Southaillpton, this 24th day of Octo- 
ber, 1902, in reply to questions asked hy IHe, 
and to \vhich he g-i ves the follo\\-ing- ans\yers : 
That he started frol11 Kingston jn the Sl11n- 
Iller of 1848, in cOlnpany \vith Captain \Yil1iam 
Kennedy, and they caIne to Toronto in t.he 
steamer l\1agnet, Capt. Sutherland. Then they 
took stage to H'olland Landing, Lake SÏ1ncoe, 
took the stealner Beaver to Oril1ia, stage from 
125 



there to Sturgeon Bay, bought a canoe and caBle 
do\vn the Severn River, took the stea.lner at 
Fenetanguishene, thence for O\ven Sounrl, and 
took our canoes round to Colpoys Bay., \vhil.'h is 
near "\riarton, carried our canoes to the Sobble 
River and thence to this place. "l\Iy intention 
was to find a place convenient for fishing and 
Indian trading, and this place suited Inc. The 
only \vhite Inen I found here \vere the Rev. 1\lr. 
Williston, Indian missionary, and 1Ir. James 
Cathay, tea'Cher. 
"'I started and built the first house that ever 
went up in this pla;ce. I becalne acquainted ,,-ith 
the late John l\1'cLean, Esq., about the year 
18 4 0 . I kne\v him \vhen \ve \vere in the Hudson 
Bay service. I fil.rst met his nephe,v, Alexander 
McDonald, in Goderich in 1849. George Butchart 
and James Orr came up sho.rtly after I caIne 
here, and \vith them I made arrangements to go 
into the fishing. But when Captain Kennedy 
left to go in search of Sir John Franklin these 
arTangements \"ere broken up. l\lrs. Butchctrt 
was the only \vhite WOlllan in this place in 1850. 
M):. Chisholm l\1illar surveyed part of the 
ro\\-n- 
ship of Bruce. l\'Ir. Brough took a cold and died, 
leaving his \vork unfinished, \vhich \vas complet- 
ed bv l\Ir. l\lillar. 
""l\Ir. and l\Irs. Peter Bro\vn came here in the 
summer of 1851, and some years aftex,vards t"C- 
moved up to the Sault Ste. l\iarie, and they both 
died there." 
In conclusion, I \vill just say that possibly I 
have omitted to 111ention some incidents that 
n1ig-ht have been much more interesting than 
126 



many here related, but I have trUlsted altogeth- 
er to my menlory, fOT my desire is to give a 
truthful statement of events as they occurred, 
and I have also tried to avoid all setH blance of 
fiction. 
I \vill here relate a fe\v of the incidents that 
occurred in connection with our settlell1ent in 
the Paisley Block, in the fall of 1830. l\ly father, 
soon after arriving in Guelph, selected a lot of 
the Canada C01nlpany's lands in the To\vnship 
of Guelph, and then contracted \vith a Mr. l\lac- 
Donald, \,-ho had some little experience in the 
art of building: log houses in those days of early 
settlell1ent, and for such service he and his as- 
sistants \'Tere to receive four shillings or one dol- 
lar and a bottle of ,vhiskey each, per day. Such 
\,Tere the usual \vages paid, and the cUstOlU of 
the country in those times. So one day l11Y 
father "Tent to see \vhat progress \vas being 
luacle in the erection of the house, and after ar- 
riving there he soon becalue very nluch interest- 
ed on seeing the IHen chupping do\vn the trees, 
for he had never seen anything of the kind done 
before, and Was quite ignorant of the dang-cr at- 
tendant upon the cutting- do"Tn of timber, so he, 
instead of keeping "Tell out of the \vay of dan- 
ger, got right into it, and ,,-as struck and kllock- 
t-d clo,,-n by a falling tree, \vhich broke one of his 
legs a little belo\,," the knee. The l11en had to 
make a kind of ha'ndbarro\v and carry hitl1 hOllle 
to GUl'lph, dud thcn send all the \vay to IIamil- 
tall for a doctor, and in a clay or t".o Dr. 
Iac- 
Rele-an arriycd and set the broken litub, but it 
"as crooked ah\"ays after"Tards, being so long 
12i 



before the bone \vas set. This Thtlfortunate acci- 
dent confined father to the ha,use for several 
\veeks, and also P revented him frOln assistino' or 

 
t.aking- an active part in hastening for\vard t.o 
completion the ne\v house, \vhich \vas intended so 
soon to becolne our future honle in the \voods, 
and it \vas quite late in the fall \vhen \ye could 
remove, and not having any experience of \vhat 
a Canadian \vinter tneant, insisted upon relnov- 
ing his faInilv at that late season of the year 
out to a half'-finished h'ouse in the \voods, for IHY 
father, o\ving to the accident, 'vas forced to de- 
pend entirelv upon hired help in the erection of 
the house, an'd the \vork \vas not al\vays done in 
a proper or su'bstantial \vay. For example, a 
log house required to have a part or t\\"O or 
three of the bottotn logs cut out at one end of 
the building and the space built up \vith stone 
and 1110rtar to form a back \vall for a ÌÎre place, 
and this ne\v house ha.d one of very large dÍ1nel1- 
sions built up \vith this n1.aterial, \vhich had be- 
come frozen. But \v hen there \vas a large fire 
built uJp against it in order to '\Tarnl t.he cold 
häuse the very first night, just as soon as the 
frost tha\ved OJUt of the mud plaster the .whole 
of the back \vall fell do\vn, \vhich lllade an open 
space large enollgh to a.dn1Ït the pro\vling- \volv-es 
\vhich \yere pro,vlin:g all around the house, as if 
just looking for some place to get in. l\Iy 111oth- 
er \vould sOlnetinles speak OJ the first- night 
spent in her ne\v hOlne in the \voods, \vhen she 
lay all night quaking \,-ith fear and shivering 
\vith cold, expecting every mOlnent to hear the 
\\Tolves enter an'd devour her little children. So 
128 



terrified \vere all present that they dared not at- 
tempt to get up and make any repairs, but re- 
Il1'ained in bed unJtil daylig-h't, for they \vere in 
such mortal "dread of the \volves that they \vere 
afraid to speak, or even stir, for fear of a{tract- 
ing- thcm. But \vhen 
norning came some assist- 
ance \vas procured, and the breach in the \vall 
repaired. But before many \veeks had passed 
the SI10\V beCall1e nearly four feet deep, ,,:hich 
Iuade travelling difficult, and although sur- 
rounded by \voods it \vas no easy matter always 
to procure a sufIìcient supply, o\ving to the grcat 
depth of sno,,-," , for when a tree was cut do\,-n it 
\vould si11)k Oiut of 
ight in the soft sno\v, \vhich 
had fìrst to be shovelled away before it could 
bc cut, and so a\V'
\vard and inexperienced \vcre 
they at using an axe that a good chopper \vould 
cut nlore '\voad in one hour than they could in 
ten, and so great "vas the ignorance and preju- 
dice possessed at lìrst hy nlany of the old coun- 
try iUll11igrants, that they \\-ould only use their 
old style of a broad axe that they had brought 
fr01l1 the old c01111 try \vi th fhcll1, and very fe,,- 
kne\v ho\v to use an axe of any kind, but \Yl)u}(l 
hack all aro,und a tree, just like as if it had her-n 
g-na\ved do\vn by a beaver. I can yet rCUlt'll1 ber 
seeing IllY father an)d mother carrying in the 
\voad 1.1pon a handbarrow, after they had shov- 
elled a narro\v path through thc snO\\T to \\ here 
the \vood had been cut, and often my l..rother 
\Villiaill and I \vo'uld follo\v theill out by the 
llarrO\V \vay, that stood up like t\VO high \valls 
on ei ther side, sa that \\Tt' con 1<1 not see over the 
top, and \vhen \ve \vould Il1eet thelu returning 
l
' 



wi th the loaded. barrow, we had to. turn back 
and run to the house, for there was no \vay of 
passing, and it would keep nlY father and lllother 
pretty ",Ten employed to furnish a suifficient 
up- 
ply of \voO'd to keeQ) up anything like a comfort- 
aJ1)le heat, for the hQuse was in a very unfinished 
cOl1di tion during- the. first winter. r will try to 
describe it in part, just as I can relnember it. Its 
size was 20iX26 feet, built of round logs, one 
storey and garret in height, but \vithout flooring 
above, \vith a large round hole dug in the centre 
for a cellar, \vith ahout one-half of the ground 
floor covered hy boards, the other plart open over 
this hold of a cell.ar. A hea,vy carpet \vas hung 
across from side to side just at the edge of the 
floor, to form a partition; and also a slight pro- 
tection from this cellar. But I relueluber that 
it frequently happened that "\vhen SOlne of us 
small boys got a little out of telnper that \ve 
\yotIld often run to this carpet to sulk or Po.ut, 
and forgetting ours
lves we \vould lean too heav- 
ily against this carpet, which would cause It to 
slack back a little, \vhen do"\vn "\ve \vould go 
plunlp into the cellar, out of sight in a lnolnent, 
so that this hole soon becalne a great dread to 
us boys. No"\v, this house that I am describing 
lllay be considered a very f.air average sample of 
the hOll1eS enjoyed by l11any of the early settlers 
in those days, but I have oftcn thought since of 
the sad change it must have been to my father 
and mother, and many others also, \vho had so 
lately left Homes of comfort and even luxury, 
and \vho \vere no\" compelled to suITer in a lle\\ 
land such unexpected privations and discom- 
130 



forts as they were then enduring. SOlnetÏtlles 
\ye were for weeks \yithout bread and hald to 
subsist upon potatoes and turnips, and these 
\vere very often frozen during \vinter. I can re- 
member \vell seeing- Inv 1110ther putting the pota- 
toes into cold \vater to draw the frost out of 
them before being- cooked, and then \ve had nei- 
ther nleat, milk nor butter to eat with thetl1. 
The labor of clearing the first acres of unbroken 
land \vas all perfortued by the settlers \v hen 
they subsisted entirely upon PlÛtatoes as a diet, 
haked and boiled time about, by \vay of change 
or variety, \vi th sOlnetinles a dish of greens 
l11ade from cow cabbage or the tops of young 
turnips, were added \vhen in season. All this 
111ay seem strange \vhen I tell you that the for- 
ests aboulltled with various kinds of g-alne, and 
the creeks \vere full of speckled trout, yet it 
rarely ha.ppened that the settlers succeeded in 
capturing any deer. But the Indians that callIC 
nip froln the Credit in the fall of the year would 
kill deer hy the dozen, an.d it ""as at such titlles 
that the settlers, if they had any Bloney at all, 
could get a cheap s1.t1)ply of venison frOtH the In 
dians, for I can yet rell1enlber, although IUY fa- 
ther \\'as a sportsll1an in the old country, :vet he 
\vould never venture into the \voorls to shoot 
dcer for fear of getting lost or of heing attacked 
by the \vol ves or hears, and so tÌ1ll id ,,'cre thc 
people that they "'omld not venture outside of 
the. house after dark, for in the evening- the deer 
,,'ottld COllIe around the house in droves to get 
a\vay frotH the ,,"olves, ,,'hich could he heard 
ho\vling in every direction, attd tllY father, \vho 
131 



had a good rifle, ,,"ould quietly open a \vindo\v 
sl
flìciently to get the point of his rille out, and 
then shoot at a deer, and if it \vas \vounded it 
,\youJ.c1 only run a short distance, \\yhen it \vould 
be caught and deVìoured by the \volves in a fe,v 
luinutes, so that nothing- of it could be seen but 
the blood-stained SllIO'V, so that IHY father's ef- 
forts to obtain a su.pþly of venison "'ere \\yorsp 
than useless, yet the deer \vere very plentiful. I 
can rell1elnber \vhen I \vas a very sll1all boy of 
s0111etimes con1Ïng across herds of I110re than 
t\venty in a flock, when the old bucks ,,,ould 
shake their heads, stall1p their feet, and snort 
at nle, and I \vauld have to stand still and clap 
IllY h'a11,ds tog-ether and lllake I all sorts of noises 
to frighten thell1 so that I 111ight pass then1 safe- 
ly, and I have seen packs of \volves in the \\Toads 
and even in the clearing during- the day, for they 
\vould often kill sheep for us and even attack 
:voung cattle. 


Bears 


I have also g-ot into unpleasantly close quar- 
ters \vitlt hears ,vhen it ,vas too dark to see 
thenl, for they ,vill not run froln yOU like a \volf, 
but they \\Till very seldol11 attack a person if 
left alone and, not interferred \vith, except \vhen 
they are hungry or in defence of ' their young. 
They are very fond of pork and ,vill catch and 
kill pigs \vhen they find then1 in the ,voods seek 
ing- beechnuts. The bear is also destructive on 
grain, eS'peciallv oats, just before they g-et ripe. 
r can renlenlber \vhen very YOThng that Il1Y father 


]32 



had SO\\'l1 a sll1'all field of oats near to the house, 
an'fl just after the:,.T had COlne out into ear, that 
a large hear \vould COine ahllost every day and 
feed UpO'11 thell1. He ,,-ould sit and gather the 
grain all aro'nnd hilll \vith his p.a\VS and then eat 
the tops oft, and sOIuetÜnes he \,"ould lie rlo\vn 
and roll the oats flat to the g-ro,uncl and then eat 
his fill. "Then \ve little boys "\, o'Uld try to frigh- 
ten hÜl1 a\vav by 111ak
ng a great racket by 
knoeking l(pOn 01d pans and l11aking- other 
sounds, he \\.ould sit and look at us quite 
unconcerned for a titne, apparently e:veing Us 
\vith utter contell1pt, for \ve ahvays had to re- 
lliain at a very respectful distance frolll hÜn, 
hut as ""e kept up our noise he at leng-th \vould 
1110ve oIT leiS\urely to the \voods, aud go a short 
distance, and i'hen clÜnh up a tree and rCl11ain 
there until \ve had lua'de a hurricd retreat to the 
house, ,,"hen he \vould slo\"l:v COlne do\vn and re- 
turn again to the oats, for \\ye \\'ere strictly cau- 
tioned hv our fathcr and l110ther to keep a\vay 
an.d not go near h1111. ',"c then coulSic1erec1 discre- 
tion to he the hetÜ'r part of valor, alHl left hilll 
to enjoy his feed of oats in peace, hut the result 
\\" as tll at the oats ""ere all C0111])1et(' h- destroyed 
in a short ti111C. 
But seventy ycarS or 11lore have \\"rou
ht very 
great changes, hoth upon the appearance of the 
country anld its inhahitants, for it \vas in the 
year [R
2 an\d the fe\v fol1o\ving seasons that d 
great 111 ally 11l1J11Ïg-rants arrived and settled in 
and around Guelph and the neigh1)oring to"''ll- 
sUi ps. and SOI11e of thelll brought a considerable 
dlll0Ullt of 1110ne)'" \viih thCl11, ,,,hile Jnatl
 \\ycrc 
1 ::;; 



tradeslllcn and laborers, ,,-ho lnostly all proved 
to be a very desirable. class of settlers, althol1.gh 
at first many of them \yere exceedingly green re- 
garding the requirements of a ne\v \vooded coun- 
try. IVlany laughable and funny stories are told 
concerning SOlne of their doings. 
I \vi11 just mention one case as a sample of 
the ma!ny, to give some idea of the annoying 
stupidity and ,vant of experience displayed by 
1l1any of the ne\v conlers. About the year 1836 
there arrived an iuul1igrant \vith a young fam- 
ily, frOIl1 the north of Ireland, who had been a 
linen wea'Ver in the old country, and as he had 
a friend here \v ho had been set tIed upon a. farln 
of his o\vn (near by o\urs) for several years, he 
came to hitn upon his arrival, and got permis- 
sion to huild a shanty upon his land and 11l0VC 
his fan1Íly into it, until he found a lot for hinl- 
self, for b
T this titne 1110st of the land had been 
taken üp in the il1lluediate neighborhood. His 
friend ag-reed to give hilll- ell1ploynlent during- his 
stay at chop
)ing- and clearing up land. So, af- 
ter he had got evervtl1Ïng set tIed and in order, 
he \vas then provided ,,-ith a ne\v axe and handle. 
and he started out one frosty lllorning to COIll- 
IHence his \'"ork at chopping do\,"n the forest 
trees, but it so happened that his friend had to 
go to Guel'pih that lllorning \vith his oxen and 
sleigh, and 011 his \vay passed near by \\-here 
this green
horn was cutting do\vn a beech tree, 
an:d after being gone several hours, on his re- 
turn, saw hilll still pounding a\vay at the saIne 
tree, \vhen he called to him, "\Vhat
, ha;ve vou 
not got that tree do\vn ytt.. :au
h
'" ""No, anfl 
134 



troth I've
 been \vorikîng tíll I am all \vet \vith 
s\veat, but the \vood has got so hard fr07e that 
the axe \von't cut it at all." "Let me see the 
, 
axe, lIugh. Man dear, the whole of the steel 
has broke out of it. Did you not see that?" 
"1'roth, an' I never looked at the axe, for I 
thought it \vas the frost that \vas luaking the 
tree so hard to cut, and I 
'as thinking that 
chopping was very slo\v work here in the "'-In- 
ter." Such were the beginnings. 
Yet, not\yithstlanding these drawbacks, in a 
few years some of the Inost thrifty of the set- 
tlers possessed a yoke of oxen and a sled, also a 
cow or two, and a fe\v h'ogs, \vhÏl:h fed lIlostly 
upon beechnuts. These, with a quantity of 
fowls, kept the larder better supplied with such 
varieties as beechnut-fed pork, eggs, very leaky 
Inilk and butter, nlaple sugar and luolasses. 
These, \vit1h potatoes, constituted the principal 
food of the settlers in those days. Money \ya3 
very scarce, and \vhen we could sell eggs at three 
pence per d,ozen \ve thought it a good price. But 
these days and these pioneers lla V
 all passed 
frol11 the changing scenes oj this ,,'orId, having," 
served their day a
lld generation. But to thelll 
and' their successors, all honor and credit is due, 
for having changed a dense fore
t into a fruitful 
garden, and the hau;l1ts of the \voIf and the bear 
into Iïollles of peace and plellLY, occupied by a 
refined, intellig-ent and educated people, both in 
city and c Oft\U try , \vho are also in the enjoyment 
of lllany of the lllodern illlprOV
lnel1ts of an d.d-- 
vanced civili:tation. 


1:;;-; 




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t't . 


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